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Network Assessments: Not Only for Installations Is your Voice Network as Secure as it Can Be? Data Networking and Wireless Access Points: Why Network Speed Matters to Users Smart IP Named Avaya’s Midmarket Partner of the Year 2018 SmartIP Achieves Avaya Diamond Partner Status Experience Counts Smart IP is honoured with the Avaya MidMarket Partner of the Year The Avaya Conferencing Advantage The Importance of Customer Support Hosted solutions explained

Network Assessments: Not Only for Installations

For many companies, IT networks have become not only more integral to operating their business on a day-to-day basis, but also more complex and complicated.

With important information and critical operations depending on your network running smoothly and flawlessly, your company cannot risk waiting for an issue to cripple your system before addressing it. You can take preemptive action to analyze your network and ensure it is fulfilling its requirements by conducting a network assessment.

What is a network assessment?

After you set up a network, you should test it to make sure the various components are working in tandem properly and reliably, the way you would with any complex system. However, it’s also important to periodically conduct network assessments post-installation to ensure your organization is making the most of its network or if you are considering changes or adding new technology.

Whether you can already pinpoint a problem but are unsure how to fix it or simply know a problem exists but not its identity, a network assessment gives you a comprehensive view about the current state of your company’s network.

A network assessment reviews your existing IT infrastructure, security, processes, management and performance and analyzes various devices – including servers, routers, computers, laptops and smart devices – along with the exchange server, looking for network vulnerabilities or failures. The analysis can help diagnose and verify network performance, security, and capacity/storage issues, along with the appearance of atypical data or any component being out of compliance. You also will have insight into underused or overused resources, bandwidth bottlenecks, and the potential benefits and challenges of adding new technology into your current network configuration.

How Can You Benefit From a Network Assessment?

A network assessment can help you grow more familiar with your growing IT infrastructure and systems and proactively identify and verify which components may be causing problems. The analysis also is a useful tool to help you determine which issues are network-related and which are user-related and identify opportunities for improvement, allowing you to make more informed and strategic business decisions.

Depending on the type of assessment completed, common outcomes from the analysis can also include uncovering unsupported operating systems; user passwords close to expiration; operating systems in extended support; or a lack of anti-spyware. The good news is an assessment can also provide recommendations for fixing network- and user-related issues with applicable solutions.

Assessing Your Network

You should be tracking your network’s performance for several reasons, not least of which are efficiency and security. Identifying the ways in which your network is underperforming or vulnerable allows you to spend energy making strategic decisions for comprehensive improvement.

Network assessments, however, can be complex and time-consuming. Working alongside a managed IT services provider to review and analyze your company’s network gives you access to professional knowledge and insight about complex IT systems and what you should even be looking for. Providers such as Smart IP ensure the process is more efficient and cost-effective by managing the assessment, preparing a report, and guiding you toward accurate solutions and tools to help you make the most of your IT infrastructure and end-user systems.  

Is your Voice Network as Secure as it Can Be?

As technology becomes integrated into day-to-day business operations, it is easy to start taking its dependability and security for granted. Even though Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks are an important communication tool for professional services firms, government agencies, and financial institutions across numerous industries, they also pose an ever-present cybersecurity risk.

Voice networks are used to continually pass valuable data, which makes them a target for cybercriminals hunting for health records, confidential account data, or credit card information. In the world of cybersecurity, complacency leads to increased vulnerability for businesses of all sizes, opening the door to a range of threats.

What are the risks associated with voice networks?

Businesses can use IP telephony as a way to extend consistent communications services to all employees, whether they are working on-site or remotely, through a variety of devices and operating systems. Because VoIP networks transmit audio over a network using standards-based IP, however, they present risks similar to other forms of web-based communication. Some of the potential risks include:

  • Call logs being stolen and/or illegally disseminated
  • Calls being recorded without the user’s knowledge
  • VoIP accounts being hacked
  • Viruses and other forms of malware infiltrating the system
  • Denial of service attacks

Fortunately, these risks can be mitigated with the help of the right infrastructure and highly skilled technicians and engineers to install and manage it.

Avaya’s security standard

As an industry leader, Avaya stays up-to-date with emerging cybersecurity risks and has designed its suite of security-enabled voice networking products to proactively confront those risks using the latest technology and best practices. Avaya’s communications solutions are not only scalable to fit the size of your operation, but they also are reliable and highly secure to answer the growing cybersecurity threats facing organizations.

Avaya offers two methods of delivering end-to-end security for voice networks:

  • Defense in Depth. A multilayers security approach that secures your organization’s voice and data infrastructure – even with employees working remotely – using a VPN-less solution with encryption. This solution also includes an intrusion-detection system, SIP firewalling capabilities embedded with Avaya Session Border Controller, and an intrusion-prevention system.
  • Defense in Breadth. This solution combines the Defense in Depth solution with the Avaya Fabric Connect and Fabric Attach solutions to provide a multilayered security approach that is especially useful for companies whose employees use their personal devices for work-related projects and communication.

In general, Avaya’s mobile and cloud-enabled communication solutions employ cutting-edge technology to deal with the wide range of cybersecurity threats constantly emerging in the Internet-enabled business world. With the correct infrastructure in place, organizations can feel confident their voice network is secure and proceed with business as usual.

Getting started

Smart IP, an independent full-service voice and data communications specialist, has deployed Avaya systems throughout Canada for nearly four decades and is well-versed in the provider’s voice network systems and other communications solutions. With a reputation for excellent customer service, Smart IP’s technicians are available to help with implementing and maintaining your organization’s Avaya systems in a timely and efficient manner.

Data Networking and Wireless Access Points: Why Network Speed Matters to Users

Organizations in most industries rely on the Internet daily to carry out a range of tasks, from making purchases and communicating to developing projects and managing events. Additionally, for companies that serve the public, individuals visiting or using their facility also will expect adequate Internet access.

Because of the professional and social importance of broadband Internet connections and WiFi access, your business can’t afford to be lacking in these areas. To stay up to date and competitive, you have to offer the data networking infrastructure and capacity to handle your users’ demands.

Why Does Speed Matter to Users?

Adequate access is no longer a “nice-to-have” feature. It’s essential. If your users are constantly getting booted from the network mid-project or when they’re trying to complete important tasks, that not only wastes time but also diminishes productivity and employee morale. It’s the same as asking someone to transfer a heavy load of supplies with a faulty forklift.

As a manager, you want to provide your employees, clients, and other users the tools they require to efficiently do their job or have the optimal experience at your facility. If having a few devices connected to the Internet is maxing out capacity, then users are deprived of that ability, which is detrimental to their performance and your operational success.

What Contributes to Network Speed?

Depending on the needs of your company, your data networking infrastructure should include broadband access to accommodate multi-media presentations and live broadcasting, along with high-speed WiFi access points throughout the facility.

Broadband speed is measured by how long it takes to download or upload information from the web to a device, whereas bandwidth dictates how much information can be sent over a data network in any given moment. With Ethernet broadband, upload and download speeds are symmetrical.

If bandwidth is shared, capacity is more unpredictable as it can be affected by the level of demand from any and all the users on the network. With a dedicated bandwidth, you know what volume is available for a set number of users (such as your employees) and their devices.

To satisfy your users’ wireless needs, your network should include an adequate amount of access points. Each access point will usually support an approximate number of devices.

Other factors that can affect your network’s operation are signal strength, which refers to a broadcasted connection’s quality when it engages a device, and latency, which refers to a delay in information travelling across a network because of high traffic levels and occasionally infrastructure. While adequate bandwidth and access points can help in these areas, you can also consider additional routers, a Wi-Fi booster to increase signal strength, or a distributed antenna system (DAS) that amplifies carriers’ signals.

Taking Care of Your Users

Your organization’s operation, reputation, and overall success rely on providing exemplary equipment and tools for your employees and clients to help them perform their professional responsibilities to the best of their ability. This includes sufficient Internet access. If you need assistance ensuring your facility’s network speed is up to snuff, the communication specialists at Smart IP can help you implement the right infrastructure and manage this complex and sometimes fickle business solution to satisfactorily serve your users.

Smart IP Named Avaya’s Midmarket Partner of the Year 2018

Smart IP, Canada’s industry leading communications specialist, has been elevated to an Avaya Diamond Level Partner, the highest and most prestigious partnership achievable with Avaya.

Formerly at Sapphire status, Smart IP has continued growing its partnership with Avaya in terms of both products and services since 1979 while delivering cutting-edge communication solutions to a wide range of companies and government agencies throughout Canada.

Avaya, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., is a reputable multinational technology company that specializes in business communications, including contact centers, unified communications, and services.

Avaya’s Partner program, Avaya Edge, is selective about its partners, rigorously scrutinizing candidates and choosing only those that display ingenuity and innovation and also contribute valuable expertise to augment Avaya’s industry leading communication solutions. In collaboration, Avaya and its most trusted Diamond Level partners, such as Smart IP, provide customers with top-notch, mission-critical products and services to serve them on premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid.

According to Avaya’s website, the fast-moving digital world of the modern era centers on communications enablement, and the company is perfectly poised to provide businesses with everything they need to succeed in that area.

The Avaya Diamond Partner accreditation recognizes a partner’s sales and operational achievements, along with their dedication to customer satisfaction as they deploy multi-faceted technology solutions. This endorsement is a validation of Smart IP’s professionalism, ingenuity, expertise, and service excellence and supports the company’s competitive position as a leader within the industry.

As an Avaya Diamond partner, Smart IP collaborates with Avaya to provide end-to-end solutions for single or multi-site operations. Smart IP’s portfolio includes numerous Avaya software and services for unified communications, including Contact Center, Avaya IP Office, Avaya Mobile Applications, among others.

From start to finish, Smart IP assists clients with selecting and implementing innovative IP and digital communications systems, productivity-boosting applications, and other comprehensive services to help them achieve their business objectives. Even after installation, Smart IP’s experts continue to provide professional consultation and critical support to keep their clients up and running.

 

SmartIP Achieves Avaya Diamond Partner Status

Smart IP, Canada’s industry leading communications specialist, has been elevated to an Avaya Diamond Level Partner, the highest and most prestigious partnership achievable with Avaya.

Formerly at Sapphire status, Smart IP has continued growing its partnership with Avaya in terms of both products and services since 1979 while delivering cutting-edge communication solutions to a wide range of companies and government agencies throughout Canada.

Avaya, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., is a reputable multinational technology company that specializes in business communications, including contact centers, unified communications, and services.

Avaya’s Partner program, Avaya Edge, is selective about its partners, rigorously scrutinizing candidates and choosing only those that display ingenuity and innovation and also contribute valuable expertise to augment Avaya’s industry leading communication solutions. In collaboration, Avaya and its most trusted Diamond Level partners, such as Smart IP, provide customers with top-notch, mission-critical products and services to serve them on premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid.

According to Avaya’s website, the fast-moving digital world of the modern era centers on communications enablement, and the company is perfectly poised to provide businesses with everything they need to succeed in that area.

The Avaya Diamond Partner accreditation recognizes a partner’s sales and operational achievements, along with their dedication to customer satisfaction as they deploy multi-faceted technology solutions. This endorsement is a validation of Smart IP’s professionalism, ingenuity, expertise, and service excellence and supports the company’s competitive position as a leader within the industry.

As an Avaya Diamond partner, Smart IP collaborates with Avaya to provide end-to-end solutions for single or multi-site operations. Smart IP’s portfolio includes numerous Avaya software and services for unified communications, including Contact Center, Avaya IP Office, Avaya Mobile Applications, among others.

From start to finish, Smart IP assists clients with selecting and implementing innovative IP and digital communications systems, productivity-boosting applications, and other comprehensive services to help them achieve their business objectives. Even after installation, Smart IP’s experts continue to provide professional consultation and critical support to keep their clients up and running.

 

Experience Counts

Obtaining telecommunications for your commercial property can be an overwhelming process. At Smart IP, we are the leading national voice and data communications specialist in Canada. It allows us to work closely with you to provide solutions for all of the challenges that you are currently experiencing.

We have been in the industry for over 35 years. During that time, we have worked with customers throughout a wide array of industries. It is our experience and our comprehensive communications portfolio on the Avaya platform, as well as accompanying peripherals and network gear that allows us to have such a large base of loyal customers.

Experience Counts

Technology is rapidly growing the options that are available in telecommunications. It’s why it is so overwhelming to review the choices. Whether you need a wireless office, a new telecommunication system with a digital receptionist or a converged voice and data network, we’re here to guide you through the selection process.

Our experience ensures that you will get a comprehensive solution to meet the individual needs of your workplace, at the right price for you. We are an Avaya Authorized Diamond Partner, well-versed on the latest and greatest Avaya products in the marketplace to ensure that you’re able to benefit from the technology that will fit you best. You will be able to work smarter and more efficiently with the technology that is available.

You will quickly learn that service excellence is our priority. We work with government agencies, many education school boards and leading companies because they know that they can rely on our expertise. Regardless of the size and complexities of your business, we can provide a robust and elegant solution that will allow you to move forward.

Telecommunications need to be a priority within your business. If customers cannot navigate your phone system, whether it is digital or analogue, VoIP or otherwise, or your data network is down, preventing people from logging into your website, it leads to vulnerabilities. Being vulnerable in today’s competitive market is dangerous. Nobody wants to lose customers simply because they have chosen not to upgrade to the latest networks and applications that customers expect. We’re here to make sure that your communications keep you on par with your competitors. We’re also able to show you how to achieve a competitive edge.

Meet Your Objectives

At Smart IP, we have worked with companies of all sizes. We’re used to deploying solutions of all sizes as well. By choosing us, you’re able to meet your objectives with end-to-end solutions.

Learn to improve customer service with new technology. Find out how to integrate network and data security for peace of mind.

Focus on your objectives so that you get a complete solution that will address current and future needs. We’re here to consult with every concern that you may have.

We’ll work one-on-one with you to develop the exact solution for your unique needs, regardless of the size and complexity of your business. We’re the communications specialist in Canada that will go above and beyond to provide you with service excellence.

Find out how our experience makes the difference by contacting Smart IP today. We’ll deliver the communications, applications, and services to ensure that every objective you have is met and even exceeded. 24/7 customer support ensures that you’re always being looked after. You won’t find that kind of dedication with any other telecommunications specialist across Canada.

Smart IP is honoured with the Avaya MidMarket Partner of the Year

SmartIP is proud to accept the Avaya Midmarket Partner of the year award. In an award ceremony in Austin, Texas, Avaya honoured six of its international partners for a variety of accomplishments and outstanding performance. As a valuable Avaya Partner, Smart IP has grown their partnership with Avaya by over 146% with product distribution and 14% with services rendered. SmartIP is now a Diamond Avaya partner and looks forward to growing it’s the distribution of Avaya’s cloud product. You can read more about the award by following the link here.

The Avaya Conferencing Advantage

With technologies rapidly advancing and infiltrating professional practices in every industry, business communications also have been radically redefined. Employees and customers expect to be able to seamlessly communicate with one another, as well as management and outside partners, across various digital platforms and using their preferred device. The same is true when it comes to video conferencing.

Meetings are a critical part of building collaboration and cooperation, but they no longer take place entirely in-person in a single room, nor do they have to. Avaya, which provides a range of contact center and unified communication solutions, understands this new reality and has designed a video-conferencing product that supports it.

Avaya’s all-in-one meeting solution gives users the benefit of being able to connect face-to-face outside of a dedicated video-conferencing room through the use of one cloud platform and software application. Seamless engagement between management, employees and clients is achieved by giving users the opportunity to participate via the tools they use every day, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Participants also can dial-in with their phone in more than 35 countries at no extra cost.

The advantage of Avaya’s in-house managed conferencing is that it gives users the benefit of personal interaction without the cost. Employees don’t have to travel every time they want to connect with their customers, collaborate with colleagues, or communicate with suppliers and partners. They can easily call in from wherever they are on whichever device they have available with a simple click. This allows your employees to serve their customers better and faster, without losing the personal touch or dampening professional relationships.

Additionally, managers no longer are trapped into only being able to schedule critical meetings when all pertinent staff members are on-site. They can set up conferences at a convenient time, even when employees are working remotely, and no one’s participation is limited. The value of this solution is improving employee engagement and team productivity.

Avaya’s single-meeting platform consolidates audio, video, web, and webcast tools and makes them easily accessible during video conferencing. Participants using the cloud platform to join in the call can easily share content and comments or utilize an interactive whiteboard as if they were actually meeting in one spot. Late-comers are able to join in easily without causing disruption. Also, meetings and other conferencing sessions can be recorded and the MP4 file downloaded for others to review later.

Participation is simplified through Avaya’s platform. Even those who can’t or don’t desire to install an app or plug-in can join the conference call directly from their browser, with end-to-end encryption making meetings more secure.

Avaya’s conferencing tools is one of the business solutions provided by Smart IP, Canada’s leading independent full-service voice and data communications specialist. For nearly 40 years, Smart IP has been serving multiple companies and government agencies across Canada through the deployment of communications systems and applications that help their organizations thrive.

 

The Importance of Customer Support

The way a business and company deals with its clients speaks volumes about their professionalism and commitment. Feedback is without a doubt the most profound tool for business owners and entrepreneurs to figure out what makes their customers tick and what they look forward to getting from your end. With that privileged information, it becomes quicker and easier for you to make the necessary plans to stock the goods, services, and products that the customers are demanding.

Maintain Customers



In this technology-powered age we live, customers have zero tolerance for companies that make them wait a whole day without getting a proper response. Invest in a robust and efficient customer service and support center to retain your existing clients, attract new converting leads, and to significantly up your profit margins.

It is incredibly difficult for you to set up a topnotch customer support center by yourself. You require collaboration with an established full-service voice and data communications company for the desired results.

Brand Awareness



Invest in robust CRM software and improve your brand recognition with existing and new customers alike. There’s nothing quite as dangerous for your investment as losing the trust of your existing clients. It only takes one slight mistake, for instance, you fail to answer their emails about service options and requirements or products and equipment needs, and they are gone forever. Take a few minutes off your schedule to attend to the needs and wants of that questioning or even agitated customer. Don’t wait until they are completely gone to start wooing them back to your business.

Lowered Staff Turnover



Investing in a proper customer care service center is not only for the benefit of your client concerns. The effort also works to safeguard you, as an investor, from constantly having to retool and repopulate and underperforming department. Did you know that, if your customers are always calling in to complain about your poor quality products and appalling services, there’s a very high likelihood, your staff will eventually quit?

Technology has altered the way businesses, and companies interact and handle their customers. Today, businesses have a wide plethora of communication solutions at their disposal. These solutions include the development of wireless offices and cloud centers for storing and backing up all your business’s vital data. Ideally, these innovative companies aim to achieve a number of essential objectives. One, they seek to replace the bulky and often voluminous memory storage devices and other communication devices and decongest working spaces in the process. Two, with advanced communication systems in your working spaces, the safety, and privacy of all your important client data is always secure.

Why Smart IP?



Smart IP is an accomplished office communications specialist with a experience and a keen interest in providing wireless and cloud communication solutions. This reputable Canadian firm has successful installed state-of-the-art live customer service platforms, IP and digital communication systems to boost your company’s brand name and productivity. Smart IP is an award-winning telecommunications firm with an experience dating back some 37 years. Call up their trained and certified staff, any time of the day, and start planning on the future of your business.

Hosted solutions explained

Avaya communication solutions offer you a hassle-free experience that enables you to be up to date in a compliant and secure environment. It allows you to manage your business in a flexible manner that helps your business to compete against bigger ones. By 2021, approximately 28 percent of all telephony users will be connected to the cloud. You may be wondering why and how you need to connect your business to a Smart IP solution provider for cloud services. The hosted solution offered by Smart IP is an Avaya Hosted IPO solution. This article will guide you through some questions and answers on implementing this solution.

Cost Effectiveness



A hosted IP solution provider will often provide a wide variety of mobile and fixed capacities. Facilitation of the systems is through a web portal that is easy to use. Companies and businesses that opt for these solutions can access all features and functionalities that are associated with the traditional PBX system without incurring all the upfront financial costs of installing the infrastructure required or the purchasing of equipment. This means that businesses can install high quality Hosted IP Solutions with a minimized financial outlay, effectively and quickly.

Questions to Ask



When sifting through the different hosted PBX providers, you need to have some guiding questions that will help you make a final decision. By so doing, you will ensure that you subscribe to a service and equipment arrangement that fits your needs and goals. Here are some of the important questions you will need to get answers to from the potential providers:

What is the length of the initial contract?
What is the termination policy of the contract?
What features are offered by the service?
What is the additional equipment that the business will need?
What happens if the business changes the number of lines it has?
Is there 24/7 support and where is it located?


If the answers to these questions are not satisfactory, do not be in a rush to sign up the contract. Read through the terms of business including the fine print in the contract to safeguard you from illegal or rogue service providers. This is where you can be assured that an Avaya branded solution provider like Smart IP meets all of the requirements.

How to Prepare



Once you get a reputable and professional service provider, the next step is to prepare for the implementation of the service. You will need to ascertain that your network is ready. Here is a checklist of what needs to be in working order:

Cabling: the Ethernet segment should be built on category 5 or better and has UT/RJ45 connections. Check if they terminate centrally close to the switches.
Power: Can POE be provided by the existing switches or will you need power injectors?
DNS: the DNS servers should be accessible to the network segment
VLAN: Are existing switches capable of providing VLAN?
IP Address: Is there a DHCP server in the LAN segment?
Other areas to look into are the Address Space, topography, documentation, resilience, switching, and network performance.

Implementation



For the successful implementation of a cloud solution, you will need to contract professionals such as Smart IP. Set clear deadlines when the work needs to start and end. This will be the plan followed during the implementation. The Hosted IP solutions provider will have pre-established guidelines which your business will need to be aware of and which it will use to supervise the work. Employees at your business premises will need to undergo some training prior to and/or after the implementation to ensure smooth transitioning and minimal disruption of work during the entire process.

In conclusion, to remain competitive and relevant in the business world, you need a fast and reliable cloud service solution. Contact Smart IP today at 905-759-2626 for more information on how to make that transition.