5 Tips for Making the Most of VoIP with Microsoft

microsoft 365 business voice

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology is gaining popularity as a cost-effective alternative to traditional telephone services. Microsoft provides easy-to-use solutions that allow businesses to take full advantage of this modern technology. Here are five tips for making the most of VoIP with Microsoft:

Invest in a Reliable Internet Connection

For optimal performance, it’s essential to invest in a reliable internet connection to ensure uninterrupted service when using VoIP with Microsoft. High speed broadband connections provide a much faster and more efficient experience than slow dial-up connections, so be sure to take this into account when choosing an internet service provider.

Utilize Dedicated PSTN Lines and IP Phones

To ensure superior call quality when using VoIP with Microsoft, consider investing in dedicated PSTN lines and IP phones. These specialized solutions will give you access to advanced features like voicemail-to-email integration, automated attendant services, and many other functions that can improve customer satisfaction.

Take Advantage of Advanced Features

Microsoft’s VoIP solutions come packed with lots of useful features that can help maximize efficiency while improving customer service. Consider taking advantage of these features by setting up voicemail-to-email integration and other automated processes that could streamline your business operations.

Ensure Your System Meets the Minimum Requirements

In order for your system to run optimally, it’s important to make sure it meets the minimum requirements for running VoIP from Microsoft. Be sure to check if your current hardware is compatible or if you need any additional equipment before getting started. If necessary, you may need to upgrade certain components such as networking switches or routers before using the service.

Consider Hosted Solutions

If you don’t have an IT staff on hand or are looking for ways to minimize costs without sacrificing quality, then consider investing in a hosted solution for your VoIP needs. Hosted solutions offer numerous benefits such as scalability and cost savings compared to purchasing hardware and software separately—making them an ideal option for small businesses looking for ways to save money while still taking full advantage of all the features available from Microsoft’s VoIP services.

Why Choose Office 365 Over G Suite Google Apps

why choose office 365 over g suite google apps

Google is known the world over for their search engine, free email, Android smartphones, along with a host of other technologies such as AI and self-driving vehicles. So it might seem natural for companies to assume that Google’s G Suite is in some way superior to Microsoft’s Office 365 line of productivity tools. After all, if Google is everywhere, they must be the best, right? Not necessarily.

In this post, we will outline several factors companies will want to consider before deciding which set of productivity tools will work best for their particular needs.

Scalable and Reliable

Companies want productivity tools they can count on and they want those same tools to scale along with their business. Microsoft is so committed to delivering just such a product, they are willing to prove it. If any of their on-demand services drops below a virtually perfect 99.9 percent availability level of service, Microsoft covers it with their comprehensive service level agreement. In contrast, Google does not acknowledge service downtime until at least 5% of a company’s user base is affected.

Consistent and Familiar  

The use of Office’s products remains consistent, regardless of device and whether a user is online or offline. Consistency breeds familiarity, which leads to a shorter learning curve and an increase in user productivity. Google’s G Suite products are not as user intuitive, meaning employees will spend more time trying to learn how to use their products rather than actually producing. Google’s capabilities are not as robust offline as when online, thus reducing the number of convenient “anytime, anywhere” access opportunities.  

Better Security

When it comes to security, Google simply adheres to their standard, one-size-fits-all privacy policy for both business and personal users. While robust, this security policy may not necessarily address all the security and regulation requirements needed for a variety of industries. Microsoft provides their business users the higher level of security required in many industries. Microsoft’s commitment to business security includes state-of-the-art data centers, multi-factor authentication, encrypted data access, and premium antivirus, anti-spam protection.

A Stronger Commitment to Productivity Innovation 

While it is clear in a broad sense that Google is a strong leader in technology innovation, unlike Microsoft’s commitment to their Office 365 apps, Google’s commitment to productivity tools is more of an afterthought. Microsoft’s approach to their productivity tools is different. They are fully committed to supporting their current business customers through their Office 365 line of products, along with committing real investment dollars for future innovation.

If you would like to know more about the differences between Office 365 and Google’s G Suite, please contact us.

Microsoft Increases Protection From Junk Email in Office 365

junk email

Considering the extent to which many businesses rely on email, it is not surprising that the growing number of phishing and spoofing emails making it into people’s inboxes has become more of a problem than a nuisance.

Considering Microsoft is one of the largest email providers for commercial users, with over 120 million business users subscribing to Office 365, Microsoft saw an opportunity to provide an additional service to its customer base by enhancing email screening for its Office 365 users.

Here is a quick overview of what users need to know about this latest update.    

The Phishing Dilemma

In a recent blog post, Microsoft explained that phishing scammers who try to obtain sensitive information through email falsification has become a rampant problem.

They claim that businesses are particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks as only 9% of companies in the Fortune 500 have strong email authentication policies, which can leave the majority of businesses vulnerable to having their sensitive information hacked by phishers.

Unless a company’s email filter is able to detect scam email, phishing emails will be delivered to the end user potentially deceiving them.

Microsoft’s Solution

Considering the severity of the threat that phishing attacks can pose to commercial users of Office 365, Microsoft decided that it was time to improve Office 365’s email authentication as they determined that the risk of allowing dangerous emails through was greater than the risk of potentially losing legitimate emails to spam filters.

Previously, this anti-spoofing technology was only available to those organizations that had an Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscription or to those who had purchased an Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) add-on for their Office 365 subscription.

However, as of October 2018, Microsoft has extended this protection to a wider range of Office 365 subscribers who can now benefit from more secure email screenings.

Contact us to learn more about this change to Office 365 as well as to find out about additional steps your business can take to protect itself from phishing attacks.

Skype for Business

skype for business

Achieve more with a fully integrated communication solution

We believe that the heart of productivity is great teamwork, and the heart of great teams is great communication. Productivity today is centered on conversations – sometimes a quick instant message or call, and sometimes a meeting planned in advance including voice, video and content sharing. Office 365 is a world-class productivity service that helps great teams to accomplish great achievements.

At the heart of Office 365 Communications is the Skype for Business service connecting your teams with the experience they love, in the Office applications they use every day. With Skype for Business you can simplify your infrastructure with one platform for calling, conferencing, video, and sharing.

Achieve more with a fully integrated communication solution

Our company offers a fully integrated communications solution based on Office 365, our services, and certified hardware to ensure the best experience for your end-users. We help our customers along all the steps of the productivity improvement journey, starting with deployment planning and roll-out, to making sure your teams are up to speed with the new solution and comfortable enough with the new ways of communication. By leveraging our company’s offering, your teams will be able to communicate like never before using Office 365 and Skype for Business.

Skype across Devices

Connect with your team anywhere using our mobile apps across Windows, iOS and AndroidTM, or bring remote participants into meeting spaces of all sizes with Skype for Business Room Systems.

Skype Across Devices

Complete Meeting Solution

Work like you are all in one room, even when you are not. From collaborative team sessions to large broadcasts or dialing into a conference using your phone, Skype for Business is designed for all your meeting needs.

Complete Meeting Solution

Modern Voice with Cloud PBX

Make, receive, and transfer business calls in the office, at home, or on the road using phone, PC, and mobile. Increase agility and consolidate management with voice services in Office 365.

Modern Voice with Cloud PBX

Security, Control and Compliance

Get end-to-end security, control and compliance that span from the user to the enterprise. All powered by the on-demand scale and manageability of Office 365.

Security, Control and Compliance

Skype for Business voice

Our integrated communications offering helps you take advantage of the following services and capabilities of Office 365 and Skype for Business:

  • Anywhere Access – ability to make and receive business calls in the office, at home, or on the road, using your business number on your smartphone, tablet, PC, or desk phone.
  • PSTN Conferencing – provides the flexibility to dial in to a meeting from a traditional phone, in addition to the existing ability to join a meeting with a single click on your PC or mobile device.
  • Skype Meeting Broadcast – makes it easier than ever to produce large virtual meetings for up to 10,000 meeting attendees, who can join from virtually any browser or device (see it in action). Now Skype for Business truly is a single platform for every type of meeting.
  • Cloud PBX – enables companies to eliminate separate PBX systems and transition to the cloud with Office 365 as the center of communications management.
  • PSTN Calling – ability to subscribe to Microsoft managed calling plans and phone numbers.
  • Skype Connectivity – Connect, communicate, and collaborate with colleagues, consumers, other businesses, and friends and family – anyone who uses Skype – with both voice and HD video.

What You Need to Know About the Newly Upgraded Office 365 E5 Plan

what you need to know about the newly upgraded office 365 e5 plan

office 365 e5 plan

If your business has its finger on the pulse of software productivity, you might have heard by now that Microsoft has made a few changes in their top-tier enterprise plan.

The new Office 365 E5 plan takes the place of the old E4 plan, with many of the same features, as well as several that are new. For anyone looking to find a package that crams as much productivity software and services as possible into a single package, Microsoft has certainly hit the nail on the head.

The E5 plan includes a gamut of new features that make it more worthwhile, however, and should not be dismissed right away. Note that these features come at an extra price for anyone on the lower plans.

  • Advanced Threat Protection for secure attachments and URLs
  • Cloud PBX (Private Branch Exchange) through Skype for Business
  • PSTN Conferencing and Calling
  • Fully integrated Delve Analytics
  • Power BI Pro

The most powerful features of the E5 plan are the last two listed. Delve is a software that helps monitor the health and collaboration among groups of coworkers, clearly and beautifully displayed analysis of communications. Power BI Pro is a new tool to analyze your company’s data quickly and easily. Microsoft touts the possibilities,

“In less than five minutes you can start creating personalized dashboards and reports on your data using natural language and drag-and-drop gestures to find answers to your most important questions.”

If you have any questions or just want a bit more clarity on what this plan is all about, please contact us.