4 issues with onsite IT systems

office 4 issues with onsite IT systems

"We've always done it this way."

This innocent-sounding phrase is often heard in opposition to change.  As technology is rapidly evolving, there are still many businesses that cling to the old ways, the comfortable. Paper forms instead of digital documents, phone calls and email instead of instant messages and video conferences.


The same can be said for a resistance to moving to the cloud. With up-to-date applications, instant access to your data and local 24-hour support from anywhere, on any device, cloud technology is the definition of the modern office, tailored to your needs.

Moving to the cloud is more than just a system upgrade. Businesses are strategically using cloud technology to transform the way they work. If you are still keeping your data and applications in-house, here are 4 issues to keep in mind when hosting your own IT system.

1. Working in the past

You're tied to your desk with a desktop computer and corded phone. There is no data and file sharing between your laptop, tablet and mobile, making remote work and collaboration a hassle, if not impossible.

Even running applications offsite is a constant struggle thanks to weak connections to your office servers. Wouldn't it be ideal if you could begin a document or an email on your laptop, and then pick up right where you left off on your mobile? Reliance on local apps and applications running from onsite servers make this difficult, but it's very achievable with cloud technology.

2. Security

It is not an uncommon to hear of businesses losing valuable data due to unexpected disasters. Buildings can burn down, or flooded, or broken in to, no matter how safe and secure you believe your onsite servers to be.

When data is stored exclusively onsite, you are putting your business and customer data at the risk of security breach, viruses, disasters and hardware failure. The resulting impact may be sensitive information that cannot be recovered, even with the most recent backup stored onsite. In other words, downtime will cost your business.

Data is your most valuable financial and strategic asset. So for your peace of mind, cloud technology ensures sensitive information is stored and protected in secure data centres. With quick data recovery and restoration, you can get back to focusing on your business and customers.


3. Mounting Expenses

Technology is moving quicker than ever: more efficient processors, power and cooling, faster memory and storage - all of which means new possibilities and business opportunities. But when you run your own IT system, keeping up with the latest technology is expensive. You are burdened with upfront purchases of new equipment and software license renewals that will only become obsolete or out-of-date too soon.

Not only is system management costly, it increases the workload for your IT staff, and diverts them from value-adding activities such as business growth and development.

4. Roadblock to Growing Your Business

Managing your IT system is time-consuming, and frequent upgrades can keep you from what's truly important - business growth. Your in-house equipment - hardware you've bought outright - are not agile or scalable. This means you're stuck with equipment that no longer fits your office needs.


Do you really want your IT team juggling siloed systems for desktop, software, storage, phones and conferencing - a feat that consumes valuable time and money? Wouldn't work be easier if they were consolidated into a single solution taken care of by one provider?


$4.3b in business assets are lost every year. Are you part of the statistic?

$4.3b in business assets are lost every year. Are you part of the statistic?

Did you know that billions of dollars are wasted each year through the loss of assets?

Specifically, Australian businesses are losing $4.3 billion in assets every year. Research commissioned by Telstra found that only 82% of companies look for their lost assets, and their searches are successful only 22% of the time.

Asset loss happens far too frequently and has a huge impact on business, not only costing organisations financially but also negatively impacting their productivity and customer relationships.


Gerhard Loots, Global IoT Solutions Executive at Telstra says, "We also found nearly half (48%) of respondents say that it is embarrassing to report lost assets to their organisations. That makes sense, as a similar number (47%) said losing company assets negatively affects their relationships with clients."

Where and how are assets being lost?

Assets are being lost everywhere and asset loss doesn't discriminate by industry. Every business has assets they can't afford to lose, and all have the same chances and vulnerabilities of employee error, misplacement, and the increasing rates of theft. 

Australian businesses are losing an average of six percent of assets every year, including small items like keys, briefcases, and other hardware. More expensive items like vehicles, lab equipment, shipping containers and IT hardware are also targeted. Assets are much too valuable to be misplaced, stolen or abandoned at worksites as frequently as they are reported to be.

Research from Telstra found that the main reasons for businesses losing assets were due to; employees misplacing them (46%), assets being inadequately stocked (36%), employee theft (29%), and assets getting lost in transit (27%).

M330021-Our Kloud-AUS asset loss infographic-v1

As an asset manager, it can be worrying that larger pieces like bulldozers and trucks get lost frequently, which is more often than not easily preventable. With billions of dollars at stake and an immeasurable amount of time spent searching for lost assets, it's time to rethink how we manage them.

How to prevent asset loss

More than half of Australian organisations (52%) say losing assets ultimately costs above and beyond the financial impact of their replacement, highlighting the enormous economic gains if this challenge is solved.

Half (50%) of companies rely on manually logging records, while more than a third will simply rely on wandering around a site to find the asset they need. 86% of companies view asset tracking technology as a strategic part of their digital transformation effort, likely because of its ability to mitigate the enormous losses companies are experiencing today.

Fortunately, new technology like fleet management and asset tracking solutions uses a range of technologies such as GPS tracking, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, RFID, Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth to keep tabs on your assets at all times. Asset tracking can bring asset recovery success rates from theft or misplacement up to 100%. 

What was once a  neglected manual task can now happen automatically in the background. Asset tracking enables real-time insights into where your assets are and how they're being used. This ensures effective asset management and significantly reduces the chances of them being misplaced or abandoned on work sites. If a theft occurs, tracking and geofencing alerts can detect and alert you when assets are moved out of their designated locations, allowing you to take action immediately.

Not sure where to get started?

Connect is our asset tracking solution to help you manage your assets and save time and money preventing asset loss in your business. To learn more about how your business can implement asset tracking with Connect, fill in our form below, and our team will get back to you.

10 Reasons Why Workplace Flexibility Makes Your Business Better

10 Reasons Why Workplace Flexibility Makes Your Business Better

Developments in technology mean we no longer have to be locked away in an office all day to get work done effectively. Instead, we can now do our jobs anywhere, anytime using a variety of mobile devices and applications. This is called 'enterprise mobility' and it's a key strategy for developing a successful, modern business.

Working remotely has traditionally been associated with freelance workers. Increasingly though businesses are investing in the resources and infrastructure to give their employees this same freedom. In this blog, we outline 10 reasons why you should be moving towards more flexible working arrangements and how it can help boost your business.


What is enterprise mobility?

Enterprise mobility, also known as business mobility, is a collection of remote working options that provide freedom and flexibility for employees to work away from their office. This is done through services and technologies called enterprise mobility management (EMM), which secures corporate data on mobile devices. This allows the use of personal laptops, cellphones, and other mobile devices to be used for business purposes, using cloud connectivity to access company information. Enterprise mobility marks a big shift away from the traditional central office business model.

Why is the uptake of enterprise mobility and flexible work increasing?

Developments in technology are inevitable and are often influenced by generational shifts. As 'digital natives' (people born into the digital era) move into the workforce, this has prompted a noticeable shift in workplace culture towards more flexible work options. 92% percent of millennials identify flexibility as a top priority when job hunting. And with millennials now making up over 50% of the workforce, this is changing the face of how we do business.

Most schools, for example, now operate a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) system, where students bring a personal laptop or tablet to use in classes. This has contributed to a massive rise in the ownership of mobile devices. As this generation of students moves into the workforce, they are bringing their technology-based work habits with them.

The influence of these Gen Y and Gen Z workers is driving initiatives within organisations including Choose Your Own Device schemes, remote work options, and flexibility for all workers to work anywhere.According to Gartner, 84 per cent of organisations are already taking advantage of these developments by employing remote workers.

A workplace that fosters and supports mobility and remote working will find it much easier to keep its employees engaged. Recognising this is important for retaining your best employees and attracting new talent, especially digital natives.

Why enterprise mobility and workplace flexibility is good for your business

There are many convincing reasons to embrace enterprise mobility and flexibility, but here are some of the top ones.

1.   Enhanced productivity. Work can be completed anywhere, on any device and at any time (including any time zone).

2.   Attract talent and increase employee satisfaction. Workplace flexibility fosters a better work/life balance, which can support the healthy and happy lifestyle employees envision for themselves.

3.   Greater flexibility. Employees are freed up to work in or away from the office. This not only helps boost productivity but also creates a workplace of happier and more engaged employees.


4.   Improved collaboration. Mobile connectivity allows collaboration through technologies such as video calls, shared documents and shared calendars - all in real-time.

5.   Enhanced communication. The speed and quality of communication between employees and also with clients is improved, resulting in greater staff and customer satisfaction.

6.   Boosted security. Your valuable data is stored in the cloud, where it is protected by layers of encryption, passwords, and security. This is more secure than office paper documents, which are at risk of theft, or loss and destruction due to natural disasters.

7.   Cost and time savings. Mobility solutions drive down labour costs, as staff can avoid travel expenses. There is also less of a reliance on internal IT staff and onboarding of new staff is quicker and easier. There are also savings on overheads such as office floor space, furniture and office supplies.

8.   Enhanced innovation. The use of emerging technologies and changed thinking can lift business performance.

9.   A tailored user experience. Technology can be adapted to work for your business, rather than you being forced to rely on slow and outdated technology.

10.   Improved bottom line. Moving your data to the cloud and introducing enterprise mobility is an effective way to drive down costs and create a higher-performing workplace.

What you can do to create a flexible, mobile workforce

To successfully transition to enterprise mobility, you need a few key elements in place.

First, you need to ensure that your company policies create an environment conducive to high digital use, while still protecting your valuable data. Data security is the cornerstone to a successful mobile enterprise, so make the commitment and draw on industry expertise to help you balance user accessibility, information management and operational needs. Also, decide how you will execute a digitally mobile strategy.

Secondly, a culture shift is needed to get all employees on board with the changes. It's important to communicate that enterprise mobility is designed to improve productivity and work/life balance for everyone.

Finally, adjust your workflows to utilise the cloud and digital connectivity and set the changes in motion to enhance your workplace productivity and flexibility.


How we can help

We can help you take the steps that you need to reap the benefits of a mobile workforce. We can provide you with complete mobile solutions that include hardware supply, private connectivity, single sign-on, device management, and document management on any device.


Best Photocopiers for Your Office in 2021


If you have a business that regularly photocopies and prints large amounts then a high volume photocopier will most likely benefit you the most. We have chosen our top 10 favourite high volume photocopiers from leading brands to help you find the perfect one for your business.

If you're looking for the best copiers of 2021, then you've come to the right place, as on this page we've ranked the best photocopiers money can buy.

There are plenty of reasons why you'd want the best digital copier your budget will allow. Modern offices will find plenty of reasons to use a fast and dependable photocopier, and on this page we'll list the best standalone digital copiers, as well as affordable and convenient multifunction printers (MFPs), which combine printing and scanning functionality in one device, and slash the cost of producing printouts using inkjet or laser technologies

In the past, MFPS had a bit of a bad reputation as a 'jack of all trades', but they have made significant improvements both in terms of quality, value for money and onboard features.

From usage tracking to improve security, auto duplex, mobile and wireless printing or digital touchscreen display, there's now a flurry of options available on the market, for the occasional print out and mailing all the way to digital agencies.

We know it can be overwhelming finding the perfect photocopier for your business as there is so much out there, but do not worry, we have your back.

We have selected some of the top copiers for small businesses, these are models from a range of manufacturers and have been selected with the volume and cost requirements of small businesses in mind. The price of a photocopier varies greatly depending on size, volume capabilities and features, we've chosen the best copiers that give you great features and high quality

Top 10 Colour Photocopiers


HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M855xh

Type: Colour laser printer

Printing Speed: 22PPM (A3)

The HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M855 printer allows you to print a variety of types and sizes of prints, such as A4 and A3, both in black and white or in colour.

If you have the space for it, this multifunction device will serve a small business well thanks to its useful 35-sheet automatic document feeder and automated photocopying skills. This is a mono machine and it's not the fastest laser on the block, but it's quicker than any inkjet and offers an attractive blend of features and performance.

HP claims that each print will be consistently coloured, with affordable and allow each employee to glide through their printing needs quickly.

    • Affordable colour printing


    • Professional, quick printing


    • Able to upgrade as needs change


    • Organise documents faster


    • Control all printers with JetAdmin


    • Print from mobile devices



Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000

Type: Colour laser printer

Printing Speed: 29PPM (Colour Print)

This Epson printer is more suitable for professional photographers or small businesses that require lower printing needs.

This three-in-one multifunction device might seem expensive for an inkjet, but as with its other cartridge-free solutions, Epson includes a generous amount of ink. The bottle of black ink in the box is good for 11,000 photocopies and Epson recons you'll make savings of around 90% compared with cartridges. You can fit 250 pages in the main paper tray, scan at high resolution and print crisp duplex pages with a very quick first page out time. The fairly large LCD screen makes it easier to use and the distinctive design picked up a Red Dot award.

One of the main benefits of the Epson printer is that you can email your pictures from anywhere in the world, so it doesn't necessarily matter where you are working.

    • Double sided printing


    •  200 sheet input tray


    • Colour touchscreen


    • High-quality printing


    • Print on CDs and DVDs



Lexmark CS417dn

Type: Colour laser printer

Printing Speed: 30PPM (Colour Print)

The Lexmark CS417dn allows for crisp and colourful printing from relatively small printing equipment, which is also affordable and suited to a small business or for personal use.

It might look a little top heavy, but this all-in-one A4 photocopier feels well made and offers plenty of features for the footprint that it takes up. Duplex scanning from the ADF and rapid automatic photocopying are performed flawlessly, while the print quality in both colour and mono is excellent. Duplex printing is not the fastest, but a wealth of security features and an easy interface more than makes up for the shortfall.

Not only can you use the Lexmark printer to make prints with speeds of up to 30PPM, but you can also print things using the printing app so that you can send documents to your printer via the wifi.

    • 24-inch colour display


    • Print documents via wifi


    • 250 sheet input tray


    • Double sided printing


    • Accurate colour matching



Brother MFC-J5335DW

Type: Colour inkjet printer

Printing Speed: 27PPM (Colour Print)

The Brother MFC-J5335 DW printer is a high-quality printer but for those companies and individuals that don't want to pay the high-level prices.

Brother has endowed this hefty laser printer with all the features a small business might need. It can hold 300 sheets of paper and turn out mono or colour pages at the rate of 31 per minute. There's a fax facility and electronic document feed for automated tasks. It also makes wireless printing from a mobile device, or scanning documents to the cloud very easy using its built in Wi-Fi and a slick iOS/Android companion app. Both Google Cloud Print and AirPrint are covered.

While the printer also has other functions such as printing, faxing, copying and scanning, customers can also benefit from its functionality with Google Cloud Print, AirPrint, iPrint & Scan, Mopria, Brother Print Service and Plug-in for Android.

✔ Colour touchscreen and pad

✔ Wifi, network and USB compatible

✔ Photocopy in mono or colour

✔ Double sided printing

✔ High copy resolution

✔ Affordable price

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5710DWF

Type: Colour inkjet printer

Printing Speed: 34PPM (Colour Print)

This printer from Epson is a multifunctional colour inkjet printer which allows customers to be able to do copy, print, fax and scan their documents with a relatively high speed, especially considering the price.

Epson WorkForce Pro has a 5/5 rating on review sites and comes with a free three-year warranty, and has some of the cheapest running costs of inkjet printers.

    • 250 sheet input tray


    • Windows and Mac compatible


    • Double sided printing


    • Compact desktop printer


    • 90% less energy than a comparable printer



OKI C823dn A3 Colour LED Laser Printer

Type: Colour laser printer

Printing Speed: 23PPM (Colour Print)

This LED laser printer from OKI is more of an option for home offices or small companies that only require a low volume of printing and DPI, but still with excellent, crisp quality.

The OKI printer can help you to lower your carbon footprint, be more energy efficient, lower your business costs while delivering on your office needs.

    • Compact design


    • 75,000 pages a month


    • Easy setup


    • Store templates on the device


    • Private print options


    • 300 sheet input tray



Xerox Phaser 7800DN

Type: Colour laser printer

Printing Speed: 45PPM (A4)

The Xerox Phaser 7800DN printer is specifically for businesses that are geared toward producing large volumes of print, such as marketing or advertising agencies for example.

By Xerox standards, this is a modest machine, but it has an impressive specification that will meet the demands of any small to medium sized business. Xerox makes faster printers than this, but the consistent quality of colour and mono prints here is impressive and its photocopying skills are among the best of any four-in-one we've tested. The intuitive touchscreen interface is another plus point that gives easy access to a wealth of features such as dual-sided scanning and a broad selection of security features. This feels like a premium product and it's well supported by modular upgrades.

High levels of quality printing, 45 pages per minute printing with weights of up to 300 gsm, which means a heavier paper which has an exceptional quality.

    • Touch screen interface


    • Heavy paperweights


    • High-quality printing


    • Cutting edge technology


    • Double sided printing


    • 520 sheet input tray



Kyocera ECOSYS FS-C8600DN

Type: Colour laser printer

Printing Speed: 45PPM (Colour Print)

Crafted to last as long as possible, this medium-range printer from Kyocera features things like being able to print various media types and high-speed performance.

    • Save money and time


    • Variety of paper sizes


    • Additional finishing options


    • Double sided printing


    • 2 x 500 sheet trays


    • Long life components



Epson C9300DN

Type: Colour laser printer

Printing Speed: 30PPM (Colour Print)

This printer from Epson provides you with sharp printing images that can help you to print things such as graphics, charts and even CAD plans too with excellent detail.

pson includes a generous amount of ink. The bottle of black ink in the box is good for 11,000 photocopies and Epson recons you'll make savings of around 90% compared with cartridges. You can fit 250 pages in the main paper tray, scan at high resolution and print crisp duplex pages with a very quick first page out time. The fairly large LCD screen makes it easier to use and the distinctive design picked up a Red Dot award.

You can save up to 50% on your general paper usage, your power and energy consumption as well as being more environmentally friendly.

    • High-quality printing
    • Affordable price
    • Windows and Mac compatible
    • 250 sheet input tray
    • Double sided printing
    • Mono and colour options


Xerox VersaLink C7000dn

Type: Colour laser printer

Printing Speed: 35PPM (Colour Print)

With the Xerox VersaLink C7000dn, customers can enjoy a 14 day trial with a free lifetime warranty, £150 cashback and 5,000 Xerox reward points.

You can access the printer via things such as your Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Xerox Print, Service Plugin for Android and Wifi options.

    • Energy efficient
    • Connects with OneDrive
    • High DPI
    • 520 sheet input tray
    • Double sided printing
    • Multiple paper insertion options



What Is The Price Of A Digital Copier?

The cost of acquiring a printer can be dwarfed by the cost of purchasing the consumables - the toner or ink, but also the paper, the drum, transfer/fuser kit - and the cost of the warranty plans or after sale services. And because you are likely to have one copier embedded within a group in an office or in a business, downtime can prove costly and counterproductive.

Enlisting the help of a managed print service provider (MPS) can simplify the technicalities associated with operating a copier, especially in bigger businesses, as they take care of the lifecycle of the printer including its disposal at the end of life. Like a car lease, you will usually not own the printer after the lease ends (up to five years) and can usually pay a fixed fee for the printer plus an agreed cost per page.

What To Consider When Buying A Photocopier?

Below are five points to consider when putting together your checklist

    1. Can the photocopier your business is considering handle the capacity needed?


Photocopiers in the shape of multi-function printer come in all shapes and sizes. Many are aimed at the domestic market. Look closely at the stated capacity and match this to your business' workload.

    1. How important is the quality of scanning and printing?


Many of the latest photocopiers using advanced print technologies that were, up until a short time ago, only found in high-end printers. If possible, look at samples of print and scanned output before making your choice. Many vendors now offer the option of sending samples by post.

    1. Is fax capability needed?


Fax is far from a dead communications medium, with many large businesses still needing it. Look at the fax capability of the MFP, which today is likely to use the cloud as well as direct-dial to another fax machine.

    1. Will your company need to manage sensitive information?


Access to the features of a photocopier should be controlled with PIN numbers or passwords. Also, ensure that the MFP only prints the required copies to ensure data security. And think about whether the USB port should be disabled to mitigate any risk.

    1. Does your business require remote printing?


With the rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), printing from mobile devices is fast and efficient. Look closely at the apps that will use the photocopier to ensure these connect securely. An MFP can be a cost-effective asset that a business can build its workflow around.

With digital copiers now coming with a number of configurations, it's critical to assess your business' needs and match them to the right one.

5 Best Reasons to Use IT Managed Services


Why you should use IT Managed Services

An increasing number of companies are employing IT managed services. It's not hard to see why. The business world is becoming more and more reliant on information technology. So many companies realize that they can save on cost while staying ahead of the competition in IT developments. By employing managed IT services, companies can improve efficiency. This is because they are concentrating on the rest of the business. While they can leave the experts to take care of the IT services.

IT is now a common trend in the enterprise world to undergo a digital transformation doctrine, whereby old and on-site hardware and infrastructure get replaced with digital systems and services. 

But moving from old to new systems and IT operations can be a daunting task. There are numerous advantages but to get the most out of digital transformation, IT leaders and teams need to have a very careful and considered approach, which can be time-consuming and require a lot of ongoing work post-transformation. 

This is why managed services have ballooned in popularity, with some two-thirds of businesses now partnered with at least one managed service provider. Such external firms can work with the client enterprise to ensure their new digital services and infrastructure are running smoothly and effectively for their business operations. 

The overall idea is that a managed service provider takes care of all the maintenance and day-to-day running of such systems and services, freeing up time for an in-house IT team to explore new ways in which technology can benefit a company's daily operations and potentially boost its bottom line. Keep reading to discover the five reasons why you should use managed IT support.


One of the top reasons why companies choose managed IT services is because it's much more cost-effective than hiring permanent staff.

The resources required to manage your IT services can be immense. The demand for your tech-savvy staff members will gradually become overwhelming to handle. If you're determined to grow your company, it's important to outsource IT services so that your staff can concentrate on other stuff. For small and medium-sized businesses, it makes financial sense to outsource it to a professional IT management firm.

This why the finance team can calculate exactly how much is required to manage the IT systems each month. Your financial team will surely thank you for helping them determine the budget for monthly operations expenses.


Access to Latest Tech Knowledge

How can small and medium-sized businesses be expected to keep up with the latest development in technology at the time? By outsourcing your systems to IT managed services, you can leave the experts to address any issues.

This means that you get access to the latest tech knowledge and resources to make sure your company stays ahead of the game. But the best part is that you don't have to pay over the odds for it.

Maximize Uptime

Uptime is the time in which a computer network is up and running. If you want to keep your company's IT systems running all the time, it's important to have the managed IT support from the professionals.

Emergencies and disasters happen. Your company needs to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. If you're not downtime could cause untold damage to your credibility and ability to operate. By outsourcing your IT services to the experts, they'll make sure your company has a business disaster recovery plan (BDR) in place in case of downtime.

24/7 Service

With managed IT services, you don't just get the occasional check-in. But rather it's a 24/7 service that ensures your IT systems are running properly all the time. No matter how big or small the problem, you could consult the managed IT services for a solution. You can sleep easy knowing everything is taken care of.

But sometimes you won't even notice that there was a problem. Before you know it, the IT managed support will have everything working soundly once again. This means that any slight glitches or pesky bugs will be taken care of immediately.

Security and Data Protection

Do you work with other organizations and client data? It's important that they can trust you. If they know that you have a secure IT system in place, they will have no problem doing business with you. With managed IT services, you confidently know that your client's data is protected.

Regulations and compliance are constantly changing. It's difficult to keep up with the latest policy changes. By employing managed IT support, you can rest peacefully that your system will comply with the regulation.

Why Do We Need Managed Services

Large and small companies alike need technology to operate effectively, and as reliance on IT grows every year, the means to support it must evolve as well. Unfortunately, as these systems grow and evolve, many businesses (especially small ones with limited funds) may not have the resources to effectively manage their ever-growing networks. Small IT teams can quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of work necessary to keep everything up-to-date and running smoothly.

It is so easy to fall behind with important things such as backups, patches, updates, and security, and this greatly increases the odds that you'll face an IT outage or other huge issue that will negatively affect your business.

Imagine if your entire email server, customer relationship management system, financial setup, or network went down; you would likely face substantial productivity and revenue losses as a result. Employees are unable to do their jobs, and everyone involved scrambles to fix these major issues as quickly as possible to return to normal business procedures. This is a huge detriment to any company, and these situations are easily prevented using managed services.

Managed services also create a change in the overall philosophy of the way a business deals with its technology. Break-fix repair relies on waiting until servers, desktops, or other critical devices fail, then rushing to fix them as the company bleeds profit. A business operating under managed services, however, focuses on prevention rather than reaction, monitoring and resolving issues before they disrupt employees, management, and clients.

In today's highly competitive and fast-paced business environment, no company can really afford the risk and uncertainty that comes with relying on break-fix maintenance. Businesses are extremely dependent on having a reliable IT system.

Furthermore, having multiple vendors responsible for different parts of your system puts you in the difficult position of having to decide who should be contacted when service is required; business owners simply do not have time for this!

With traditional break-fix repair, the only way for an IT support company to make money is if something goes wrong, which is a double-edged sword. If they do the job too well, they will go out of business, which happens to about 80% of all small IT firms - they just don't make it. 

So many IT companies are promoting managed services because it puts them on the same page as your business, essentially partnering with you to become your complete IT department. The service provider becomes invested in your continued success, becoming a win-win situation for both parties.

Advantages of managed IT services include:


    • Expertise: For smaller businesses, in particular, being able to outsource knowledge and expertise can be an enormous help, as well as having experienced technical support available


    • Predictable costs: Rather than incurring large expenses for an IT issue, businesses can instead account for potential problems within a predictable monthly fee


    • Maintenance and upgrades: Organisations no longer have to worry whether the software is up-to-date, as all this is taken care of by the provider. They can also get access to newer technologies which they may not have been able to afford by themselves


    • Time savings: Outsourcing management of services like security and cloud reduces the amount of time that in-house departments have to spend on it.



Disadvantages of managed IT services include:


    • Control: If there's an outage or an incident, there's little a business reliant on managed services can do. Theoretically, a good MSP will be able to address issues much more quickly than an internal IT team, but it can be frustrating to not have visibility of serious problems and progress in dealing with them in-house.


    • Flexibility: In general, managed IT service providers will have a standard offering which is available to all their clients. They may be able to modify this, but it will usually be less flexible than having a solution that is customised to business needs.


    • Reliability: Should anything happen to the service provider, customers could be left trying to find alternative solutions in a short space of time.




Surprisingly, managed IT services actually cost less than break-fix repair, especially when factoring in the cost of downtime that inevitably comes with this old method. Remote monitoring, remote maintenance, and the prevention of major issues allow a managed service provider to operate far more efficiently than a break-fix company that is constantly driving back and forth to customer sites.

Likewise, rush fees and after-hours or weekend support to handle emergencies can add up quickly. The managed service company can prevent these issues before they happen and handle most maintenance and service remotely. The MSP can, therefore, offer a "better" service without charging more.

Additionally, the monthly cost of managed services can be factored in as a business/operating expense, allowing most companies to deduct the service from their taxes to save even more money - something not available with the old break-fix model.

Managed services are generally priced on a flat-rate monthly basis. Depending on the services included, pricing is usually based on the number of devices with different packages priced at different levels. This makes it easy for a business to get the exact service they need, without paying for more than is necessary.

Features like on-site support and device leasing can even be added if needed to offer a comprehensive support package. We perform a free business consultation to determine needs and create a unique, personalized package to fit our clients.



    • Freed-up resources and a renewed emphasis on core business - Both business owners and internal IT staff would much rather focus on revenue enhancing tasks like product development or the creation of cutting-edge applications/services. This is one reason routine monitoring and maintenance tasks are often neglected by an internal IT person or team, which always proves to be detrimental much later. Often misportrayed as a "threat" to an internal IT person or staff, MSPs can instead relieve internal staff of mundane network operations maintenance, repetitious monitoring of server and storage infrastructure, and day-to-day operations and help desk duties.


    • A true partner sharing risks and responsibilities - The goal of an MSP is to deliver on contracted services, measure, report, analyze and optimize IT service operations, and truly become an irreplaceable catalyst for business growth. Managed Service Providers not only assume leadership roles, they enable risk reduction, enhance efficiency and change the culture by introducing internal IT operations to new technologies and processes.


    • Access to expertise, best practices, and world-class tools and technologies - MSPs have experience with a variety of businesses and organizations. Managed Service Providers can keep your business relevant and on track with continually evolving technology, support, and productivity demands. Let's face it, no small or medium-sized business can afford to fall behind with technology trends in today's business world.


    • The benefit of a full-time fully staffed IT department at a fraction of the cost - Most small business owners live and die by proactive management. They just haven't had the budget, resources or access to on-demand expertise to be proactive with information technology management. A Managed Service Provider gives business owners and overwhelmed internal IT staff affordable server and computer support, remote monitoring of critical network components like servers and firewalls, data backup and disaster recovery, network security, custom software solutions, and technology evaluation and planning.


    • Managed service providers can decrease the overall IT support costs by as much as 30% to 50% - Rather than being stressed about technology, business owners can instead get back to focusing on growing their business. All while enjoying the benefits of highly-trained IT experts boosting their network's reliability and performance.


Benefits of a VOIP Telephone System

How can you benefit from a VOIP Business Telephone System?

Any business with a concern about efficient and cost-effective solutions for telecommunications has likely been informed that  (VoIP) business telephone systems are the best choice in today's Internet-driven society. As best as anyone can tell at first glance, it seems like VoIP services are answering many, if not all, of the primary communication needs companies to require from telephone systems.

However, it doesn't take long to run into conflicting advice. At Ok, we are often asked to clarify confusion about VoIP telephone systems that arise from this. People want to know if VoIP communication solutions are as useful as they claim to be.

The analog voice calls are converted into packets of data, which travel over the public Internet or a private IP network. A private IP network is chosen over public internet connections when stronger security is needed or wanted. This technology can be used to make or receive calls via landlines, cell phones, or from computer to computer. For businesses purposes, a VoIP provider provides fully-fledged VoIP systems that, unlike Skype, do not rely solely on a computer or mobile interface, supporting desk phones and enterprise applications.

VoIP can help a business' bottom-line, mobility, and productivity. Instead of a company having to manage two networks (one phone network and one internet network), they can streamline and save money by only having one. This allows them to easily add, move or change phone extensions and locations. VoIP is also very mobile. Many hosted VoIP providers offer mobile apps that let you use your data connection to make and receive calls at home or on the road.

Low Cost-Per-Call

As part of the name suggests, a VoIP telephone system utilizes Internet Protocol to make calls. Instead of using telephone lines, all communication data is turned into packets and sent over the IP network. The IP network your business uses could be your Internet connection, a direct IP connection to your telephone service provider or a combination of both. The important part of the IP connection is that there is a guaranteed quality of service (QoS) from your telephone service provider's network to your office network. Note that if you are using the Internet to connect to your telephone service provider, QoS is not possible.

Placing calls over traditional phone lines means that a line is taken up by the two callers using it to communicate. Since there are only so many lines that can be installed, calls placed over landlines, especially if they are long-distance, are expensive. But using the Internet to relay call data circumvents this problem, making domestic and long-distance calls cheaper overall.

In fact, businesses that use VoIP are often given the ability to make domestic and domestic long distance calls for free. 

Service Mobility

If your business is on-the-go, VoIP services can be a tremendous benefit to you because they will follow you wherever you go.

On a traditional phone system, a line that runs to a home or business is assigned its own phone number. Any movement that takes place then becomes a trial of remembering the right codes or keys to dial on your phone. A lot of time can then be wasted by contacting phone companies to transfer services and phone numbers to new locations.

With a VoIP phone system, all of this is eliminated. There are no physical limitations. You have the freedom to move as your business demands without any added stress.

Versatility of Features

Using VoIP phone systems allows you to multi-task with the most tech-savvy devices, allowing you to be the most productive you can be.

Suppose you are on a call within a queue. While you are waiting, you can strategize your approach to client calls you have missed as you read voicemail-to-text transcriptions that are sent directly to your email inbox.

In another case, you can forward messages and voicemail easily. If you receive an important message in a voicemail, you can forward that voicemail to three other people at the click of a mouse.

These features and many more useful ones are available with VoIP phone systems. And because the service always goes with you, the features you find helpful can be added or subtracted with ease. In short, VoIP telephone systems grow with your business.

Simple Conference Calls

The features just mentioned are not all that's made easy by VoIP. Since all calls use a converged data network instead of dedicated phone lines, creating and participating in conference calls are made much easier.

It's possible to take part in conference calls if your business uses a traditional phone system, but what you will find is that you will have to pay for an additional service to host multiple callers for a conference. These services are native to many VoIP phone systems. Instead of paying for something extra, you can take advantage of the ability to make conference calls as an added benefit to the service you already pay for.

Not only that, but VoIP services make video conferences much easier as well. Of course, these sorts of conferences are usually special cases, but face-to-face interaction with colleagues and clients, while business personnel are out of the office, is much more manageable with VoIP phone systems.

Efficient Client Interaction

In today's global economy, businesses can be located anywhere. This often means that meetings require travel. Even so, with a VoIP service, there is no reason to lose the ability to conduct important calls or to fail to forward essential documents.

With a VoIP phone system, you can choose where your calls ring and how. For instance, you might select the first few rings to be forwarded to your office. If you don't answer the call, it will then be transmitted to a second or third device, say, mobile phone or laptop. Quite simply, calls don't need to be missed anymore if they are urgent.

Important documents that need to be forwarded no longer have to wait either. Using VoIP, business associates can e-fax their documents instead of waiting a day (or several) to get to a fax machine.

Reliable in a Pinch

A common worry that surfaces about VoIP is the fact that if the Internet stops working, so does the ability to make calls. This doesn't have to occur under the right circumstances. The truth is that call-forwarding, like other features in VoIP phone systems, is incredibly flexible.

The capability to choose where your calls are forwarded, and how, means that you also don't have to lose productivity because of local power outages or weather-related events. If the office phone can't be answered, your mobile device or laptop can.

How companies can benefit from small business VoIP service

Business VoIP systems are clearly becoming the go-to communications solution for smaller companies.

Choosing the best VoIP for small business can go a long way towards making your enterprise more competitive in an economy where every company, big or small, needs every edge it can get. Ok uses the latest in cloud technology to provide subscribers with a powerful phone solution that not only addresses your office communication needs, but also gives you advantages over your competition.

What used to be an alternative to expensive on-premise phone systems is now the go-to communications suite of organizations of all sizes. It doesn't matter if they're running a fledgling company with a handful of employees or an established corporate enterprise with its own call centre.

Upgrading to Business-Class VoIP

The products and services in this review roundup are focused on business use, and because of this either provide some PBX features or serve as full-on virtual PBXes. This may mean, among other things, that they provide service to telephone sets on your employees' desks. Most also support electronic faxing in some fashion, either directly (which can be a significant challenge for some VoIP services) or by simply integrating incoming fax with your email system. Other popular features are video conferencing and shared meeting software (so meeting attendees not only hear each other but can present presentations or documents in a shared workspace).

Some form of call centre capability is often available, though many times either as a different product version or simply a higher pricing tier, so be careful before you assume you'll be getting those features. These capabilities are meant to support large sales or service desk staff and their need to route and process a relatively large number of incoming customer or user calls. That means complex menu trees, an auto-attendant for routing, and service queues. You'll probably find you need interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities, and that should be backed up by support for a live operator or some other type of human intervention.

On the higher end of this space, hosted PBX providers will generally offer (sometimes even require) on-premises handset hardware, like a desk or cordless VoIP phones that get sent to you pre-configured to work with their service. Plug the phones in, make sure they see an internet connection, and after some self-configuration time, your VoIP service goes live auto-magically.

That situation is for fairly pristine network and business conditions, however. Companies with legacy equipment or unique business needs may need a hybrid PBX, in which a portion of the voice network remains in the analog world, while the rest is converted to cloud-based VoIP. This could happen if you occupy an older building without the necessary Ethernet infrastructure to support VoIP or if you had custom software built a long time ago that simply isn't compatible with newer phone technologies.

For SMBs, the most commonly important features you should be considering include:

    • Interactive capabilities


    • Call queuing


    • Advertising


    • Extension assignments,


    • Call recording


    • Voicemail to email transcription


One of the most exciting and clear differences between a cloud PBX provider and a standard telephone system is software. Your IT staff will find a host of new software tools to help monitor and manage the system. But what catches most business operators' eyes are two key capabilities that software provides: back-end integration and softphones. The latter is exactly what the name implies, a phone that's rendered entirely in software allowing any compatible device to become a phone as long as it has an internet connection, a speaker, and a microphone. 

Back-end integration with custom and third-party apps, like CRM systems, also open a whole new world for your calling data because now it can extend the phone system beyond just basic voice communication. Such integrations allows users to transfer calls to and from their mobile phone, place and receive calls from their personal phone (that appear to be coming from the business), and interact with colleagues and customers via voice and text -- all from a variety of devices. But it also allows recording and analysis of call data to measure things like customer satisfaction, understand your sales audience at a new level, and even handle customer requests and problems automatically without the customer ever being aware they never spoke to a human.

Future-Proofing VoIP

With integration being at the heart of VoIP and UCaaS, you can't make a purchasing decision here without thinking about the future. On one side, think about what you'll need in 1-5 years. On the other side, consider each vendor carefully to see what they've done over the last half decade in terms of product development and keeping up with VoIP and UCaaS trends.

It's also critical that you consider the impact of mergers and acquisitions on your phone system, both from your own organization's perspective as well as your VoIP provider. Because VoIP systems turn calls into data, the whole process isn't as plug-and-play standards-based as the old-fashioned analog phone system might have been. Should your company merge with or purchase another, VoIP compatibility will become another significant IT issue.

On the phone providers' side, since this review roundup was first published, some of the products listed here now belong to other companies and some have merged into new products. If you're planning to depend on your phone system over the course of the next decade, then you should consider a vendor that's stable enough to still be around when it's time to upgrade.