Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

How Hosted IP PBX Solutions Can Keep Your Communications Competitive

Hosted IP PBX chart

The way you do business is changing fast.

It’s not just that you’re replacing your face-to-face interactions with a range of digital modes like email, instant messaging, and videoconferencing—now you need to insist that those modes be available anytime, anywhere on devices that are familiar, mobile and allow us to access and communicate any and all of your data at will.

Problem: How to keep up — affordably

You need communications capabilities that can stay apace of all this, which the plain old telephone system (POTS) cannot. The alternative has been IP PBXs that replace bundles of physical wires with a session initiation protocol (SIP) service called trunking.

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DaaS vs. VDI — Is This the Right Question?

Deciding between two doors

Which is the better solution — DaaS or VDI?

Each camp promotes its approach and dismisses the other while analysts argue about which one will “prevail.” Yet these technology debates do little more than distract you from finding the best solution for your organization.

So pull your eyes from those tech specs and focus on these six questions:
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The Disruption Dirty Dozen: Asking the hard DR questions

Register button for Master Your Disaster

Regardless of their cause(s), your ability to minimize business disruptions depends on planning that’s based on a granular understanding of the risks posed to your business processes.

This planning begins with understanding who your key stakeholders are, how your organization conducts business, and what sorts of disruptions are likeliest at your locations (note that recent studies indicate power failures, hardware failures, and network failures account for more than 80% of IT-related disruptions).

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When was the last time you reviewed your DR plan?

Data Availability Graph small

Last year, disasters in the United States caused more than $60 billion in damage. And the future promises plenty more of the same, says a recent report from Swiss reinsurer Munich Re — especially in North America, where weather-related loss events have quintupled in the last 30 years.

Now add in concerns about inadequate backup of the data on employees’ smartphones and tablets, wayward virtual machines, cyberattacks and other security incidents …

The challenge: Protect your essential business resources
It all makes now a good time to take another look at your company’s business continuity/disaster recovery plan, which ought to be reviewed and updated at least annually to keep your risk assessment current.

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It’s Easy to Avoid Data Room Disaster

Data center services

I heard a story recently about the theft of servers from a data room.

The company had locks on all outside doors, but had neglected to install a lock on the server room door.

The thieves would probably have broken that lock, too. Yet the story reminds me how often data rooms get overlooked. The chief reason? Budget … more specifically, lack of budget.

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Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #5: Test your plan and review it often

Why Test your Business Continuity Plan Frequently?

Business continuity plans aren’t worth a whole lot if they don’t work. And you cannot know whether or not they work unless you test them.

So that’s my fifth step toward business disaster preparedness: Test your plan — often.

Testing your plan frequently is essential. Change has a way of sneaking up on organizations, and those changes can disrupt your carefully laid plan to overcome disruptions. Fortunately, the right service provider will include regular testing in the price of your service.

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Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #4: Pinpoint the most cost-effective disruption recovery solutions

Cost Effective Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Solutions

Okay, so your data is properly backed up, you’re monitoring its use, you’re developing a plan to protect your business and recover as quickly as possible from events beyond your control.

Now, in conjunction with your planning efforts, you need to pinpoint and then implement the most cost-effective disruption recovery solutions necessary to sustain business-critical operations when your systems and networks are down and/or when your office is unusable. This entails a three-step process that requires business continuity/disaster recovery expertise:

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Survey says — cloud, mobility, and virtualization improve disaster preparedness

Role of Cloud Computing, Virtualization and Mobility in Disaster Recovery Planning

The other day, I came across the results of a recent Symantec survey of small and midsize businesses examining the effects of virtualization, cloud computing, and mobility on disaster preparedness.

I was heartened to see results showing that more than a third of these smaller and midsize business decision-makers took disaster preparedness into account when deciding how they’d venture into virtualization, mobility, and the cloud.

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Getting the Best Technology Solutions

For 30 years, we at Quest have been listening to our customers, understanding their unique needs, and working with them to deliver the technology capabilities their businesses rely on.

Chief among the many things we’ve learned is this: The best technology solutions combine the cost advantages of mass-produced commodity products and services with customized design, configuration, and integration — and this combo should be provided by skilled, experienced technology specialists who have taken the time to study and understand the particular capability needs of a customer’s business.

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Data backup/recovery best practice #10

This last of my backup/recovery best practices is far from the least of them:

#10 Conduct regular testing and reviews of your data recovery capabilities

Backups can be corrupted (especially if they’re tape-based) and too often backups are performed incorrectly. Key files, directories, or components may have been excluded, especially if your infrastructure has undergone adds or deletes.

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