4 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Landline Telephone

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Your landline telephone may have once been a prominent part of your business’ communication infrastructure, but chances are that it’s fallen on hard times since you last used it. In fact, you might be surprised to find that there are quite a few arguments against using a landline for your organization’s phone system, especially with more modern tools such as VoIP solutions eclipsing it in usefulness.

Here are four reasons why you might reconsider your business’s landline telephone setup.

#1: Adding New Users is a Hassle

Chances are that your office was designed to handle a certain number of employees at any given time. As such, there are phone lines wired across your office for those employees… But what happens when your business starts to grow? Adding new phone lines might require changes to your office setup and perhaps even construction, which is something that can be both timely and costly. In other words, you want a telephone solution that doesn’t rely on messing with pre-existing infrastructure in order to be effective.

#2: It’s Not Flexible Enough for Modern Businesses

When you use a landline in your office, your employees are essentially tethered to their desks in order to answer the phone. This is the exact opposite of what needs to happen in the modern office. Employees should be able to answer their phones and stay in touch with their coworkers even while out of the office, and especially while on the road for business trips.

#3: There Are Other Costs Associated with Landlines

Many businesses and consumers overpay for their landline telephone solutions, as they are often bundled together with other services that are not necessarily used. One key example of this is cable television being bundled with phone service. You need a solution that lets you customize it to suit the specific needs of your business, not what the provider thinks you need in order to be successful.

#4: There Are Better Options Available

Why bother with landlines when other (better) technology solutions are available? Using outdated technology is a surefire way to fall behind your competitors and lose ground in the long run. One way you can ditch the landline is by implementing a Voice over IP solution that utilizes existing infrastructure (your Internet) rather than running new lines all over your office. Plus, VoIP can be used on desktops, laptops, and smartphones, making it much more flexible and, by extension, useful.

Implement VoIP Solutions Today!

AE Technology Group can help outfit your organization with the latest VoIP solutions that are designed to improve operations. These solutions are most effective when they are tailored to fit the needs of your business. To learn more about how we can help your organization thrive, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Start Investing In Your Team’s Technology

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We don’t believe for one second that employees want to do the wrong thing; after all, they work for you for a reason, that reason being they want to do the job you hired them to do. Unfortunately, technology can often make it so that this process becomes difficult. If you don’t invest time and effort into ensuring that your team’s technology and resources are available when they need them most, you risk them choosing unproductive or even unsecured work methods.

Employees Using Unsecured Devices

Employees will prefer to use their work technology to fulfill their day-to-day obligations. These devices might include a desktop, a work-issued laptop, and maybe a mobile device. If these devices are not maintained properly, they will not work properly, leading your employees to find solutions that are outside of your purview. This might include their personal laptop or smartphone, devices that are not secured using your company’s security solution.

The importance of maintaining your team’s technology and devices cannot be understated, so we recommend implementing a solution that allows you to manage and maintain your devices with ease. Furthermore, you should add in a Bring Your Own Device policy that determines how and when your employees are allowed to use their personal devices for work-related purposes. This will be beneficial for your company in the long run.

Unauthorized Software Downloads

Your staff might occasionally require specific tools to do a specific task or perform a function. If they do not have access to these tools, then they will find a different way to do the job, or they won’t do the job at all. It’s like trying to use a butter knife like a flat-head screwdriver. Sure, it might get the job done in the moment, but if you strip the screw, you risk the job being much more difficult or downright impossible later on. The same can be said for when your staff tries to download alternative solutions to do a job; these freeware applications can be dangerous for your business for several reasons.

For one, all software your business uses on the regular requires a software license. If the software license on any of your employees’ computers expires, they will experience a disruption to their productivity and be required to find another way to get the job done. If they download the wrong application, they could put your business at risk of experiencing a security breach or using a counterfeit software license. It might solve an issue in the short term, but it creates long-term problems, especially if you ever become subject to a security issue or network audit.

The best way to prevent your employees from inadvertently causing trouble for you by downloading unauthorized software or using unsecured devices is to make sure that they have consistent and reliable access to the tools you provide, as well as ensure that the tools are properly maintained. You can make this happen through the use of proactive maintenance and management. If you are proactive in this regard, you prevent your team from being proactive in finding alternative ways to do their work. You can further augment this by giving your team someone to contact in the event they cannot access the tools they need throughout the workday.

AE Technology Group can help your team’s technology by providing them with a trusted IT resource for any questions or concerns they have about technology during the workday. Furthermore, we can also keep your technology in proper working order so that your staff naturally experience fewer issues while going about their day-to-day tasks. This gives your team the confidence that their technology will not create unexpected troubles for them and can help encourage them to appropriately handle issues when they do arise.

Let AE Technology Group be your business’ trusted IT resource! To get started, give us a call at (516) 536-5006.

Companies Can Save Time and Money with Remote Maintenance

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It comes as no surprise that IT maintenance and management is a pain point for small businesses. Perhaps they don’t have the resources to perform in-house maintenance because they lack the funds to hire trained technicians, a practice that leads them to rely on existing resources to make it happen. Unfortunately, this leads to inconsistent maintenance at best, a practice that can be both dangerous and wasteful in the long term. We’re here to tell you that not only is proactive maintenance important, but that remote maintenance is the best way to make it happen.

Why Utilize Proactive Remote Maintenance?

If you don’t take advantage of proactive maintenance, even the slightest issue can cause significant setbacks. For an organization that performs maintenance occasionally but not often, that company’s productivity might range from exceptional to nothing at all, all in accordance with the operational state of their IT resources. If computers crash, productivity can grind to a screeching halt. If a server fails, data loss can happen. If a security threat worms its way onto your network, your data can be compromised. All of this can contribute to situations when your organization cannot function as it is supposed to.

The opposite can also be true. Being proactive with your IT maintenance means that you can identify issues before they become major problems, a practice that allows you to address them before they become too serious. You can replace that computer that sounds like an airplane taking off. You can replace that server unit before it fails. You can keep hackers away from your infrastructure. In other words, you go from being reactive to issues to being proactive, which prevents downtime and the costs that it can accrue.

Greater Flexibility

Remote maintenance is an excellent way to take full advantage of proactive maintenance. You don’t need to wait for a technician to arrive on-premises to get the help you need. Most issues that your IT infrastructure will encounter can and should be resolved remotely. This makes things much more convenient for your company and eliminates a lot of the unnecessary costs associated with on-site visits. Plus, patches and security updates can be applied remotely too, meaning that they can be issued as they are released.

Faster Response Time

Remote maintenance can be performed at a moment’s notice, which is something that might make all the difference when it comes to preventing downtime. This is especially true for issues that demand an immediate response, as technicians can simply remote into your systems to resolve the issue. Downtime is essentially eliminated in this way, meaning that you can dodge that bullet that so often strikes at the heart of businesses all over the world.

Fewer Associated Costs

When on-site visits are unavoidable, you can avoid paying multiple bills. In a sense, you are paying for a technician’s travel time to and from the office, as well as the downtime that occurs as a result of the incident. That’s not even mentioning the time spent by your staff who, by the way, are still on the clock while you are suffering from the technical challenge that has ceased your operations. It’s easier and less costly to just avoid the on-site visit and have the problem resolved remotely.

Get Started with Remote Maintenance

AE Technology Group can help your organization get started with remote technology maintenance and management. To learn more about how we can keep your organization functional with minimal on-site visits and no surprise invoices, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

How to Record Screenshots, Audio, and Video on Windows 10

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If you have ever had to write up a report or process for a particular task, you know that images can go a long way toward helping people understand what exactly needs to be done. For Windows 10 users, there is a built-in tool that you can utilize to take screenshots, record video, and even record audio alongside all of this: the Xbox Game Bar.

Before we dive into the details about how to use this feature natively available on Windows 10 devices, we would like to point out that it is entirely possible that the Xbox Game Bar has been disabled or uninstalled completely from your work-related devices. Due to its nature, it is mostly used for gaming purposes, so your organization may have disabled it for this reason. If you need to use this solution for any reason, be sure to check with your IT department to determine whether or not it is the right tool for your current needs; don’t just go installing software on your workstation all willy-nilly!

That said, if it’s not disabled by default, why not use the tool to solve a current problem? It beats downloading an expensive screen recording software!

Start-Up the Xbox Game Bar

To start up the Xbox Game Bar, all you have to do is hold the Windows key and hit the G key. This will open up the overlay. The overlay has four main features, from left to right:

  • Take a Screenshot: The screenshot button does exactly what you think it does; it takes a screenshot of your screen. You can use the keyboard shortcut here for easy access: Windows key + Alt + Prt Sc.
  • Record the Last 30 Seconds: This feature can be used to record video if you’ve missed something retroactively. This is kind of a clunky one to use, though, as it does not always recognize the application you might be trying to record (remember, this solution is for video games normally). You can use the keyboard shortcut for this feature, too: Windows key + Alt + G.
  • Start Recording: This button will start recording your screen. A separate window showing some basic controllers will pop up, including enabling or disabling audio input. You can use the keyboard shortcut to start recording: Windows key + Alt + R.
  • Turn Mic On/Off While Recording: When you hit the Audio option from the overlay, you will see the window that details which devices, including your microphone and playback device (usually your speakers or a headset), are being used when recording. You can adjust the audio mix at this time. To quickly disable or enable audio recording, you can use the keyboard shortcut: Windows key + Alt + M.

There are a couple of shortcomings of this application, though, namely that it cannot record File Explorer, and it cannot record more than one application at a time.

Some Practical Uses for This Feature

Now that we’ve put the idea in your brain, let’s go ahead and outline how this feature might be used. Here are some common ways that you might use the Xbox Game Bar:

  • Recording a video tutorial
  • Writing up documentation for a task
  • Identifying a problem to be addressed later on

All of that said, if you want a solution that is meant for more than gaming, we recommend reaching out to AE Technology Group for help. We can equip your business with enterprise-grade tools that might be a better fit for getting your work done. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Don’t Let Data Backup Concerns Hold Your Business Back

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Your business is not unique in the sense that it stores and transmits data during its day-to-day routines. Whether it’s financial information for your clients or employee records, it is more than likely that your business holds some kind of critical data that your operations rely on throughout the workday. Would your operations be able to recover from a sudden loss of data?

While imagining this worst-case scenario might seem intimidating and downright scary, failing to do so is even worse for your business continuity. You owe it to everyone who works so hard to keep your business going to do all you can to protect it as best as possible. To work toward this goal, we recommend a solution that all businesses should utilize: data backup and disaster recovery. Data backup is one of those things that you don’t necessarily realize its true value until you need it most, and failing to have it could put your future on the line.

Data Backup vs Disaster Recovery

Data backups are copies of your business’ data that you can restore in the event of a disaster that destroys the original. These are particularly useful when you suffer a data loss scenario or security breach. Data backup has been done with tape for years, a process that involves setting the tape, running the backup, and storing the tapes in a place off-site in the event they are needed.

Tape is on its way out, however, due to issues that are prevalent in the way that it is fundamentally designed. Modern technology has addressed these issues, such as slow implementation and deployment speed, user error, and storage space. The cloud makes everything involved with the data backup and disaster recovery process so much easier by eliminating the possibility of user error, speeding up the process, freeing up on-site storage, and fully automating the process.

Data backup is only one part of a successful disaster recovery solution. You also need to make sure that you are actually able to deploy these backups when they are needed most. Since disasters can disrupt operations so profoundly, you want to have your backups ready to go in the event of data breaches, natural disasters, or user errors. Failing to have these data backups available puts your operations in jeopardy not just from an operational standpoint, but also from a cost perspective when you factor in downtime and lost productivity.

Your disaster recovery solution should aim to minimize downtime through the use of a cloud-deployed backup to temporary hardware. It’s not meant to be a permanent solution; it just keeps you in business while you work to replace it. A common rule you might hear about is the 3-2-1 rule of data backup. You should have three copies of your data ready to go at a moment’s notice: one on-site or on-network, one located in the cloud for ease of restoration, and one in a secure off-site data center. This redundancy makes for an ideal solution and certainly one that minimizes downtime and data loss.

Implement BDR Today

A data backup and disaster recovery solution like BDR is the best way to approach your business’ continuity concerns. AE Technology Group has the knowledge and expertise to walk you through this process every step of the way, from determining your specific backup needs to the deployment of solutions. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.