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Unified Communications 300 Improves Communication, Collaboration

Easy, affordable solution helps companies achieve faster results and stay connected to people and resources

I recently wrote about how an IP-based voice system can help small businesses save money. This type of unified communications (UC) solution provides other benefits, too, such as boosting employee productivity, achieving better results faster, and creating a more collaborative company.

In a survey about the value of unified communications, Forrester Research found that small businesses benefit from UC with more effective team collaboration, rapid problem resolution, and increased employee productivity. Specifically, 69 percent of the small and medium-sized companies polled indicated they would improve efficiency. And 65 percent said they would improve competitiveness with the ability to reduce business delays.

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Collaboration Helps Small Business Work Smarter and Faster

A unified communications solution can reduce costs, boost productivity, and improve customer service

In this always on, connected world, your customers expect to reach you at any time—when it’s convenient for them. Tools like unified communications, cloud services, and Web conferencing help your business collaborate more effectively, allowing your employees to work from anywhere and improving customer service through personal interaction. The ability to connect and respond in real time helps differentiate your business from the competition and can make your company more profitable.

Communication is a key component to successful collaboration. By combining voice, video, and data on the same network, you can streamline communication and boost productivity.

If you’re a small company considering a unified communications solution, Cisco’s Unified Communications 300 Series (UC 300) provides business-class networking and voice communications for your business at an affordable price. A complete unified communications solution, the UC 300 lets you replace your PBX (public branch exchange) system with IP telephony and delivers built-in voice and wireless support as well as other advanced features such as voicemail and auto attendant. And because the solution uses SIP trunks, your company can save on monthly phone charges.

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Top 3 Reasons Hosted VoIP is Perfect for New and Growing Small Businesses

Take advantage of a flexible phone system

Earlier in my life I worked at a small pizza shop and a landscaping company, so I know what it’s like to work in a small business.  Business can be great one month and down the next.  Or the business can be growing so quickly that it can barely keep up, creating a need for new employees and office locations.

In either case, the key business need is flexibility.

I’ve tackled the topic of hosted voice over IP (VoIP) from a number of angles, but one I’ve yet to cover in depth is the value of “hosted” to new and growing businesses.   While a large, established business may be relatively immune to changes in the marketplace, small businesses do not share this characteristic.  They need to be able to scale up or down immediately, without major financial impact.

That’s why I have highlighted the top 3 reasons a new or growing business may want to go with hosted voice over IP:

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Unified Threat Management: The Best Offense for Defending Your Data

A UTM solution provides comprehensive protection for your small business network and data

In many sport games, the best defense is a good offense. In order to protect yourself from threats, you need to proactively build your team so that the opposing team never gets a chance to score.

This idea of proactive protection—of good offense—applies to your small business. Any network is vulnerable to hackers, viruses, worms, and other threats. You need to build your network security “team” to protect against these threats and reduce the potential loss of company data, revenues, and employee productivity.

A recent survey by Trend Micro found that small businesses are 23 percent less likely to have systems in place to prevent data leaks than larger companies. What are you doing to protect your data?

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Working with Multiple Channel Partners

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

It doesn’t happen every day, but every now and then, small businesses find themselves working with more than one channel partner at the same time. At first glance, this might not appear to be a big deal, but whenever you’ve got two people, or two groups, or two companies working so closely, things can easily get a little gummed up. Often there are battles (or, perhaps, cold wars) over control, access, control, responsibility, and control.

Did I mention control? When things are going right, everybody wants to demonstrate that they have it. When things are going wrong, control is something that has always been in the other camp.

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