Posts made in October, 2014

Voip For Business: Five Features You Want To Know About Before Setting Up Your Business Phone System

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Blog, Technology | 0 comments

If you want to have the best phone systems for your business, VoIP is an excellent option. These phone systems send voice communications over your IP address. VoIP has drastically improved in recent years and can provide your business with much more than just telephone communications; they can also be integrated with things like customer relations systems, in-house communications, and sales, and they have features like voice to text forwarding and network chat, just to name a few. Here are some of the important features that you will want with your business phone system:

1. Call Forwarding Features With VoIP

Many phone systems have call forwarding features, which can forward calls to other lines or your mobile phone. With VoIP systems, this can be taken a step further, and you can have voice messages converted to text before they are forwarded to your mobile. This is just one of the many forwarding options that you will have with the VoIP system you have set up for your business.

2. Network Messaging Through IP

You may also want to have a system for messaging on a local network, which is something that a VoIP system can provide for you. It can also allow you to chat across virtual private networks. This means that you can message colleagues in different locations across a secure network with your VoIP system, which will help facilitate communications across your business.

3. Conferencing Across Networks

Conferencing may be something else that you want to have for your business. VoIP phone systems can also provide you with video conferencing features for your business. This can allow you to communicate with people in different locations, and even sit in on meetings that are in another city. It is one way that you can grow your business with the help of a VoIP business phone system.

4. Customer Relations Integrations For Your Phone System

There also many customer relations integrations that can be done for your VoIP system. Some of these can include sales lead management and marketing tools. For a small business, these are essential for growing your business. There are programs that can allow you to see the activity of the sales team and manage contacts, as well as create reports on the information available. For example: you can make a report of leads that have been followed, who made the calls, and whether these efforts converted into sales.

5. Virtual Answering Service To Answer Or Direct Common Calls

Another great feature that you can include in your VoIP phone system is call management. This is a virtual assistant that can direct calls to where they need to go. For example, you can have a list of FAQ questions, which customers can quickly get answers to, or have a phone call forwarded to a tech support professional when a customer has a technical problem with a service. You can also easily direct calls to billing departments or other areas of your business with the virtual assistant. This streamlines communication and makes it much easier for your customers to get the service they need.

If you want to have a modern business phone system, these are some of the things that a VoIP system can do for you. Contact a business phone system dealer, such as Horizon Telcom Inc., and ask them about getting some of these features for your business.

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Three Tips For Planning A Stress-Free Baby Shower

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Blog, Technology | 0 comments

It doesn’t matter whether you have been asked to host a baby shower, or if you were the one that offered. Planning a baby shower can seem like a daunting task; you may feel overwhelmed, but don’t worry! Planning and hosting a baby shower doesn’t have to be stressful. Consider these three tips to help you plan a fun, successful baby shower.

Use an event planning app

An event app for Android is a great way to keep all of the relevant event information all together in one place. Since you probably always have your smart phone close at hand, you will have easy access to your event info whenever you need it. Some apps even sync with your email, allowing you to send invitations and reminders, and even update your calendar and guest list when guests RSVP.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Just because you’re the hostess, doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Recruit a couple of willing friends or family of the bride to help you out. Assign specific tasks to each helper (decorations, pre-party set-up, party favors, ect) along with a “due by” date that is slightly earlier than it is actually needed to allow for any setbacks that may arise.

If you’re not sure of who to ask for help, just ask the guest of honor for her advice on who may be interested. If the shower is a surprise, ask her close family members and friends if they would be willing to give you a hand. Just make sure to ask early on, so you don’t get stuck at the last minute doing everything yourself.

Start planning early

The earlier you start planning, the better. Planning early gives you time to compare venues and caterers for your best match. If you wait until the last minute, your just causing yourself more stress than is necessary. Wait too long, and you may end up getting stuck paying too much for the venue or serving low-quality food because that’s all that’s available.

Just remember that the more you do ahead of time, like decorating or preparing refreshments, the less you have to do the day of the shower. Get as much done ahead of time so you can enjoy the party along with your guests instead of running around trying to make last minute arrangements.

Hosting a baby shower can sometimes seem like an overwhelming obligation, but it doesn’t have to be. With careful planning, helpful technology, and a little help from some friends, planning a fun, successful baby shower can be an easy, stress-free responsibility.

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Three Troubleshooting Tips To Try When The Server Is Down

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Blog, Technology | 0 comments

Nobody wants to hear that their server is down. Although you can rely on your maintenance team to solve all your server problems, there are a few simple troubleshooting tips you can try before contacting support. That way, you don’t waste time calling support for a problem you can handle on your own. Here are three examples of such tips:

The Physical Layer

Some server problems are caused by the physical components of the system. Fortunately, the physical components are also some of the easiest to diagnose. Therefore, you should confirm that the main computer hardware, the cables and all the peripherals are all functioning correctly. For example, you can test the:

  • Cables for continuity – if you have spare cables, then you can simply switch them and see if they work. An alternative is to use a cable tester or multimeter; if the tester doesn’t give a reading then the cable is faulty.
  • Network cards – replace the cards with new ones to see if that is the problem.
  • Hardware compatibility – one of your hardware pieces may not be compatible with the server operating system you are using. Confirm the compatibility if you have recently replaced or added a component. The easiest way to do this is to check your system’s designer website (the main designers list compatible components on their websites);

The Network Settings

Problems with network settings are also common with servers. When your client networks cannot dial in to connect to your network, and the problem is not physical, then the settings may be the culprit. Therefore, you should ensure that:

  • Ensure that your server is configured to accept remote connections (protocol compatibility also matters here).
  • Your server has remote access services, and they are running.

The procedure to follow here depends on the system you are running. Contact an IT technician if you don’t have the technical knowledge to figure out the settings.  


Apart from physical components and network problems, the applications you are running may also cause problems on your server. Server applications typically allow you to monitor, manage and maintain the server, for example, you use them to monitor your network operations. This is unlike workstation applications that help you produce end-user products). Therefore, if the applications are not running properly, perhaps due to compatibility, then your server may be in need of maintenance.

Only perform maintenance services that you know you can do; don’t let guesswork ruin your system. In fact, you should only troubleshoot the routine problems and contact your maintenance or support party for more ‘exotic’ problems.

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How to Generate Additional Income with Wireless Kiosks

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Blog, Technology | 0 comments

Many kiosks are put in place to give general information about a specific company or product, or to sell a singular service. With a few tweaks and minor investments, a kiosk can become a center of attention that drives additional commerce and residual gains in your place of business. Consider a few concepts for garnering more attention (and possibly added revenue) by adding wireless Internet to an existing kiosk.

Wireless Internet Is a Cherished Commodity

The Internet has become a major part of most people’s lives in the United States, and mobile devices are like an extra limb for some people. Being able to use the Internet on the go is privilege bordering on necessity for many.

Even with mobile devices all over the place and mobile data plans available from many companies, there are still groups of people who either can’t afford or don’t want to pay for lots of Internet access. That’s where your kiosk comes in.

By equipping your kiosk with a wireless access point, you can broadcast your own Internet connection for others to use. The connection can be configured to allow a specific amount of Internet speed and usage or bandwidth for each person in order to avoid overuse by a single person.

You could either charge a small membership fee to cover the operating costs plus profit, or use the connection as an advertisement point. Free Internet access can attract a lot of attention, which can then be used to advertise or bring other services.

Other Services To Pair With Internet Access

If you prefer to use Internet access to lure people in, you’ll need other service points to bring in their money as well. If you’re dealing with people who want to avoid paying or can’t pay very much, low cost services such as drinks and snacks may be the best bet.

As the kiosk becomes something of a meeting place, you can justify adding seating and shelter without becoming a full restaurant or equally-regulated facility. Add snack machines, drink machines, sufficient lighting and a camera system for safety.

To provide safety along with a public service for entertainment, you could connect a webcam to the kiosk in order to provide a live broadcast of the public area. Crime may be less likely to occur when the public can see what happens in the area, and your kiosk’s area can become something of a popular point of the town that anyone in the world can see.

For help with customizing wireless, sales or touch screen kiosks, contact a kiosk management specialist.

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Checking Software Issues After New Computer Crashes

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Blog, Technology | 0 comments

There are few things in the technical world that are more frustrating and confounding than a new computer that crashes repeatedly. Whether you’re dealing with a new computer from a big manufacturer or a custom-built machine, there are only a few ways that a system can go wrong at the beginning of its useful life. A few troubleshooting and analysis points can help you get to the core of the problem and provide a replacement or repair.

What Are Computer Crashes?

A computer crash is specifically an event when the entire computer freezes without responding or shuts down. Computers rarely shut down without notice; a crash is usually accompanied by an error message or an error log that can be read after the fact.

Programs can crash as well without affecting the system at large. A word processor, important business program or game can completely freeze or close with an error message (or without warning at all). Even if the computer is working fine aside from the program, the program crash can be indicative of a bigger problem.

For a new computer, look up the code for the crash. Some computers may have what’s called a blue screen (specific to some vendors) or a similar report page. Look at the specific error, then use a working computer (such as another desktop, laptop or mobile device such as a smartphone) to research the error.

With a brand new computer, the failure points are simple. Either the hardware is faulty or recent programs are faulty. If the computer is crashing constantly, stop; don’t try to work through it, as future crashes and fixes can lead to information loss. Get the computer working with no crashes or at least understand the crash cause.

Software And Operating System Troubleshooting

Before touching any hardware or digging inside the physical computer, take care of the software component first. Software doesn’t physically break or become ruined by mishandling unless a disk is improperly handled, so it’s a great starting point.

First, uninstall any programs that could have been added after receiving the computer. The program may be too powerful for your computer or may conflict with other programs and hardware.

Is the computer crashing simply by being on? With new computers from big name brands, it’s best to send the system back. A faulty process is not your problem to fix, and you shouldn’t have to dig too deeply into repairs or pay for additional troubleshooting to fix the problem.

If the computer is custom built, there is a chance that the operating system was not installed properly. Most of the major operating systems have user-friendly installation processes that make reinstalling a simple task.

Obtain a disk or other installation media (USB drive, SD card, etc.) and reinstall the operating system. The operating system performs a step by step installation, and will generate specific errors if the hardware is a problem.

If you need advanced assistance with replacing hardware or finding the proper software after unsuccessful attempts, contact an IT services professional.

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