Transbeam Blog - Should you consider Professional IT services?

If you’ve ever worked or own a small business, you know the sheer amount of responsibilities it takes to make it a success. Between client development and day-to-day operations, there’s little time left to worry about what’s happening behind the scenes with your IT management. That’s why a huge amount of small to medium-sized businesses are hiring professionally managed IT services.

According to the 4th Annual Trends in Managed Services Survey, by 2019 the managed service market is expected to grow to a 193 billion dollar industry. For those organizations that may not have internal resources or expertise to cope with an ever-changing technological environment, outsourcing or supplementing your IT services makes sense. Managed services provide your organization with convenience, flexibility and the ability to service your end-users either on site or anywhere in the world.

Here are a few other reasons to consider managed IT services:

A Cost Effective Solution

Every company has a bottom line. When looking at the yearly IT budget, there are significant expenses that go into managing and maintaining infrastructure. That includes hardware costs, software and network infrastructure, maintenance, and an IT staff on site. Nothing can hold a business back quite as much as outdated software or failing infrastructure. A managed IT provider takes stock of these issues and immediately addresses them, leaving your staff to work on the larger projects they often get pulled away from.

It also makes it easy to scale your team. In times of trouble, you don’t have to worry about downsizing and losing extra hands on deck. The flat monthly fee most MSP’s charge makes it easier to manage and build your IT budget for the year, with fewer surprises.

Let your IT Staff work on the important things

Internal IT teams are often juggling many projects, some of which they have expertise in, and some that they don’t. A managed IT service serves as a partnership and collaborator, effectively delegating projects that allow your internal team to focus on, not only what they’re good at, but what they’ve been putting on the back burner while trying to handle so many different tasks.

Whether it’s migration or redesigning infrastructure, there are large scale and time-consuming projects that can take away from focusing on what your company needs day-to-day. A partnership with a managed IT provider helps companies assess what is lacking and take control of their organizational process to implement what is needed.

Network monitoring and help desk support

One thing that most managed IT providers have that your company doesn’t—the ability to monitor your network 24/7. Once your team has completed their tasks for the day, they are offline or sporadically checking for any issues. Most providers have a NOC that is constantly watching the network, well into the night. They’re on top of issues, resolving them quickly and efficiently before you even wake up in the morning.

Some packages even included help desk support, so that if you don’t have IT staff on site or their bandwidth is stretched too thin, your employees can contact someone and have their issues taken care of. With an off-site team whose sole job is to make sure your company is functioning properly, you can focus on client engagement and employee productivity.

Consistent maintenance and network updates

Having around-the-clock visibility on your network gives you the upper hand in knowing when it’s time to change things up. Your provider can determine where potential threats, vulnerabilities or issues can squeeze between the cracks. It’s more than just having an eye on the problem at all times; it’s a team that can put together a solution and stops the issue from growing into something bigger.

This is one of those things that so many in-house IT teams don’t have time to deal with. While they’re troubleshooting employee issues or handling network traffic, they often miss the opportunity to determine where upgrades and fixes can be made. This partnership then becomes more than just that, they’re your back-up solution, putting an end to problems that don’t even exist yet.

These are just a few reasons to consider managed IT, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Many MSP offer services that include:

  • Network infrastructure design, installation, and optimization
  • Data storage assessment
  • License & software management
  • Server-side management
  • Disaster recovery
  • Planning IT virtualization & consolidation assessment
  • IT security assessment
  • IT process consulting
  • Verification of coverage
  • Email solutions & software management
  • Full cycle IT support services
  • Remote access IT management

Managed IT serves are growing rapidly. Every company’s goal is to continue making money and serving their customers to the best of their ability. When you can take something off your plate, especially something as huge as your IT solution, it’s peace of mind that gives you the chance to focus on growing the success of your business.

Want to learn more about Transbeam’s Professional IT services? Email our sales team your questions!

Transbeam Blog - The Major Differences Between UCaaS and On-Premise PBX

There’s a lot of discussion about whether making the switch from an on-premise solution to UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) is the right move. There are pros and cons to each, depending on everything from budget, flexibility, and how your current solution is working for you. But, for some companies, it’s unclear what the difference truly is between the two offerings.

Once you break it down, the differences between UCaaS and on-premise PBX become clear. Understanding these differences can be the key to deciding whether it’s time for your company to become one with the cloud, or stick to your tried and true solution. There’s no doubt, UCaaS offers some major advantages to the end user, which is why there’s a growing demand by many companies to make the jump. But, that doesn’t mean on-premise PBX is on its way out, nor does it mean you shouldn’t consider it.

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS is a secure cloud-based communications platform that allows companies the flexibility to unify communication and integrate applications for better productivity. Typically, it’s the perfect fit for companies that are experiencing unexpected growth spurts or like to be on the cutting-edge of innovation by utilizing new applications and collaboration tools. UCaaS includes many essential communication tools including VoIP, web conferencing, video conferencing, desktop sharing, and a ton of messaging tools.

What some people don’t know, is that there are a lot of options with UCaaS, the same way there are with PBX. Some of those options include:

  • UCaaS – This is the full-service, managed solution, in which companies have a complete UC suite provided by a third party.
  • Service Specific Hosted Solutions – For companies that don’t need a full suite of options, this allows you to pick one service and implement it. Like messaging or video.
  • Cloud PBX – A telephony focused hosted service.
  • Applications – There are many cloud-based communication solutions at the click of a button, without any third party to deal with, all you have to do is download the app.

What is On-Premise PBX?

Traditional PBX, also known as On-Premise, is a PBX hardware that’s designed for analog and digital phone networks. In a typical set-up, the user has more control over their system, and will have a dedicated team in charge maintaining and updating the hardware. Companies stick to this method when they want to have control over their integrations and already have the infrastructure in place to support the bandwidth and network needs of the system (needs that Hosted users don’t need to worry about). It allows them to rely only on their internal team and not bring a third party into the fold. This solution is usually more beneficial for enterprise companies with branches all over the world.

Just like UCaaS, there are several different types of on-premise PBX options.

  • Traditional PBX – hardware designed for analog and digital phone networks
  • Software-based PBX run on a specialized server
  • Software-based PBX run in the data center
  • Software-based run in a virtualized environment
  • Software-based UC platforms run alongside any of the software-based PBX options

With an understanding of the differences between on-premise and UCaaS cloud-hosted environments, companies can make a more educated decision about sticking with what they have or switching things up. As I mentioned, from price to installation and maintenance, there are a lot of other factors at play when it comes to implementing any new technology. Any major MSP should be able to help guide you, and the future of your business, to a solution that will be successful for many years to come.

Transbeam Blog - Simple Steps to Protect Your Business from Natural Disasters

Hurricane season is upon us.

This week Hurricane Harvey is threatening to hit the southeast coast of Texas, one of the first major hurricanes in over a decade. It’s projected to be a Category 3 with damaging winds and flooding. With evacuations and warnings springing up from Corpus Christi to Portland, many businesses are deeply concerned about how this will affect them.

The imminent threat of natural disasters is one a lot of businesses need to plan for. Across the country, businesses worry about everything from hurricanes to tornadoes and earthquakes—and consider how these disasters can affect their business. Having a concrete Disaster Recovery Plan in place is always important. But what other steps can businesses take to protect themselves?

Protect Your Assets

Those things that keep your company running—like equipment, software or data—should remain top of mind when putting a plan in place. Before disaster strikes, there are steps you can take to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect these assets.

For instance, discussing mitigation construction techniques with your building management or personal contractor. It might not be something you’ve thought about, but it’s important. The right physical infrastructure may not stand up to hurricane force winds, but it can’t hurt to be certain everything is in the best shape possible.

Inventory. Maintaining a comprehensive list of everything you have on-site will not only help you rebuild if you lose it, but it will speed up the insurance process. Keeping a physical list, and maybe even video or photography of your items, stored in another off-site location, can ensure you get everything back.

Having a backup plan in regards to a temporary business site or access for remote work, will get you up and running again more quickly.

Speaking of backup plans, your software and data are two critical aspects of how your business operates. Backing these up frequently protects you from any major loss of data that might affect you and your customer. If there’s a number one step to take for any business, this is it.

Get Back to Work

Keep the names and telephone companies of all your contractors, repair firms, and vendors somewhere safe. As soon as you can, access this list to work on understanding the extent of the damage and what it’s going to take to get you up and running again. Even if you have to set-up a remote site with temporary Wi-Fi, understanding your options is your best bet.

In the face of disaster and loss, it’s hard to focus on getting back to work. But extended downtime can cost a business hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. More so than lost data or equipment, an extended absence from your customers and lack of communication will send them searching elsewhere for what they need. The downside to this is they might never come back.

During this time, communication is key. In general, customers, vendors, and creditors will be understanding that you’ve just experienced a serious loss and, by default, an interruption of regular business functions. But explaining what has happened, how you’re handling, and furthermore, how everyone can get in touch with you, will maintain the level of trust you’ve spent your career building.

There’s no surefire way to protect every aspect of your business when it comes to natural disasters. However, taking the necessary steps will give you peace of mind knowing you have a recovery plan to follow. Following a plan, understanding your risks, and staying on top of your communication will protect not only your physical assets but your reputation.

I currently write for my own website as well as various online publications including NKD Magazine, Rare Country, Word of Mouth Conversations and more. Below you will find writing samples pulled from articles and interviews. 

10 Unique New York City Restaurants And Bars

There are many reasons to love New York City. The culture, the diversity, and the chance to experience all four seasons in full force (until winter lasts forever, that is). But one of the best things about this melting pot of awesome is the bar and restaurant scene. There are some really unique New York City restaurants and bars you should make a point of visiting if you ever visit the Big Apple. But with so many options, and a whole lot of tourists, it can be hard to pin down a cool new space

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