Blog

September 5th, 2013

The Gartner Symposium/ITxpo agenda offers 500+ analyst sessions, workshops, roundtables and mastermind keynotes across five full days. With 10 role-based tracks and 11 industry tracks, the agenda targets your specific title responsibilities and ways to adapt new ideas and strategy to your industry, along with insight on what’s next in IT.

www.gartner.com/technology/symposium/orlando

Topic Events, News
October 20th, 2011

ShoreTel recently announced an update to ShoreTel Mobility, a smartphone integration solution that simply and intelligently integrates all leading smartphones and tablets with leading IP PBX systems extending full UC and cost-saving calling capabilities to the mobile workforce.  IT professionals can now empower their users with enterprise UC on the smartphones they love, leveraging the IP PBX platform that they already have – all while reducing costs and securing enterprise communications. To see a demo of this exciting technology, contact your Verteks Consulting account manager, or call us toll-free at 877-VERTEKS.

ShoreTel Mobility is a solution that goes against conventional IT wisdom – counter to the complexity some vendors push. By design, ShoreTel marries its hallmark ease-of-use with uncompromising sophistication to deliver incredible value back to the enterprise, the IT team and the end user.

What’s New:

  • Enable corporate communication applications on employee-owned smartphones and tablets, reducing support costs and burden with a simple and easy separation of personal and business identities on a single mobile device.
  • Native telephony interface integration on Android OS 2.2+ such as Motorola ATRIX 4G, Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Droid X2, HTC Droid Incredible 2, and Motorola Droid.
  • Full-feature suite available for the latest devices on the BlackBerry OS 6 platform, including the Blackberry Torch 9800, Bold 9700, and Bold 9780.
  • Ongoing support for Apple iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

You can learn more at ShoreTel.com – http://www.shoretel.com/solutions/enterprise_mobility To see a demo of this exciting technology, contact your Verteks Consulting account manager, or call us toll-free at 877-VERTEKS.

October 19th, 2011

In our world of digital photos, on-demand videos and ubiquitous e-mail, fax technology seems almost primitive. When sent via traditional methods, where one fax machine scans a document and transmits it to another fax machine which prints it out, faxes even present a multitude of problems:

  • Paper jams or a lack of paper can cause a transmission to fail.
  • Multi-page faxes can pile up on the machine – or spill to the floor.
  • Fax machines are rarely private, making it impossible to guarantee privacy for medical records, financial records and more.

If they are to be stored electronically, faxes must be scanned manually.

These problems, however, can all be solved with new technology that allows each person in an office – or even those in remote offices – to receive faxes directly to their desktop via email.

For our clients, we have recommended and installed FaxFinder. This all-in-one fax server provides distributed faxing capabilities over the corporate network. Inbound faxes are converted to either .pdf or .tiff files and delivered to an e-mail inbox or network folder. Or, they can even be printed on a network printer.

On the outbound side, users can send a fax through a Microsoft Office application (e-mail-to-fax) or via the FaxFinder web client. When a user is working in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook or another Office application, they can simply click the FaxFinder button in the menu. Then, they will be given options to create a cover sheet, choose a recipient from their Microsoft Outlook address book, and more.

With the FaxFinder web client, users can take advantage of advanced features that make it easier to get the job done. For example, multiple documents from various applications can be uploaded to create a single, large fax. In addition, when fax transmissions fail, users are informed via e-mail in a timely manner.

Other advanced features include:

  • Both inbound and outbound faxes can be archived in a shared network folder
  • Outbound faxes can require approval before being sent
  • Error correction mode creates fast and reliable fax transmissions

Best of all, each employee in the company can be provided with a virtual fax number. When the FaxFinder fax server receives a fax, it automatically routes the document to the correct location. This eliminates the risk associated with receiving confidential financial or medical faxes, which might cause security concerns if they are being sent to a traditional fax machine. No longer do recipients have to hover over the fax machine waiting for important documents.

Similarly, professionals who rely upon faxed documents to complete transactions or files now will have immediate access to electronic copies of the information. For example, real estate documents that can be received and stored electronically will make it easier for a mortgage broker or real estate agent to do their jobs.

Don’t let the hassles associate with a traditional fax stop you from offering this convenient communications technology to your clients and customers. Instead, update it with a more reliable, secure way of sending and receiving faxes.

For more information, visit the MultiTech site, or call our consulting department.  Current customers of Verteks Consulting qualify for a free 30-day trial of FaxFinder, call us at 877-VERTEKS to learn more.

FaxFinder Site: http://www.multitech.com/en_US/PRODUCTS/Families/FaxFinder/

August 3rd, 2011

It is inevitable to have to upgrade any kind of software sooner or later. This is now true for Windows XP, as Microsoft has announced a discontinuation of support for the operating system in 2014. Microsoft recommends upgrading to the newer Windows 7 OS, which is something worth considering as early as now.

Part of using any sort of software is the inevitable need to upgrade. Most if not all software needs to either be replaced and upgraded as the demands of the market entail more efficient processing of the various data and information a business handles.

Such is the case with Windows XP. While many continue to use this proven straightforward operating system, Microsoft has decided to stop support by the year 2014. Microsoft further recommends upgrading to its latest OS, Windows 7, in order for users to continue to receive OS support.

While there are some lines of business applications that have not been upgraded to work with Windows 7, most have and there are alternative approaches. Also, your business needs the security and protection that only a current, up-to-date operating system can provide.

We understand that changing your OS will entail some expense, including new licenses, hardware, and some training. Fortunately, these things are designed to help you operate more efficiently and increase your productivity in the long run. But such change will take time, and if you are interested in starting to plan for an upgrade now, we’ll be happy to sit down with you and develop an upgrade process that meets your specific needs.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
August 2nd, 2011

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug 02, 2011 — ShoreTel(R), the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications (UC), today announced that, for the eighth year in a row, it has received the highest ratings for IP telephony products from IT decision makers in the Nemertes Research annual PilotHouse Awards report.

The high ratings earned ShoreTel the Nemertes PilotHouse Award for Top IP Telephony Provider among Market Challengers. Nemertes, an independent research firm based in Illinois, received ratings for 22 IP telephony vendors and determined the award solely on the views and experiences of more than 2,000 actual users of IP telephony systems.

ShoreTel’s overall score of 4.32, was above all vendors examined.

Customers rated their providers on a scale of 1 to 5 in the following categories: Technology, Customer Service, and Value. ShoreTel scored above a 4 rating in all categories. Nemertes analysts also conducted in-depth conversations with a subset of IP telephony decision-makers to understand the reasons behind the results.

– Technology: Technology ratings examine how customers view sophistication, features and implementation of the product. ShoreTel received a rating of 4.18 for technology. The report states, “ShoreTel has kept pace with technology innovation, invested in and integrated mobility into its platform through its Agito acquisition, and provides the integrated UC functionality including conferencing and high-quality desktop video that its IP telephony customers want.”

– Customer Service: Customer-service ratings look at technical support, responsiveness to deployment issues, sales support and general customer care. ShoreTel received a 4.18 rating for customer service, surpassing last year’s score of 4.10, with the report noting that ShoreTel has built its brand on solid customer service.

– Value: The value rating measures what customers think about what they get for their money. With a score of 4.65, ShoreTel received the highest score of all the IP telephony vendors in any market category. The report cites IT professionals feel the solution is affordable and easy to implement and operate. Respondents told Nemertes they “get a good bang for their buck” and the IT director of a midsize transportation company said plainly, “I like the simplicity.”

“What makes ShoreTel successful is our focus on clear product differentiation, low total cost of ownership and our commitment to continuously improving customer satisfaction. Adding new capabilities such as mobility to drive new revenue streams, product simplicity and quality shows our focus on Brilliant Simplicity is working. We are honored to win this award for the eighth year running as this demonstrates that we continue to deliver on these promises.”

- Peter Blackmore, CEO, ShoreTel

“For the unprecedented eighth straight year, ShoreTel claims the top prize in IP telephony. ShoreTel obviously is doing something right; no vendor ever has consistently won the same category multiple years as ShoreTel has in IP telephony.”

Topic News
May 24th, 2011

Many SMBs are unaware that hackers are finding online banking transactions to be profitable and easy targets for cyber-attacks because of several weaknesses in the security systems not only of both organizations, but also in the authentication protocols between them.

In a recent attack, cyber-thieves managed to get away with $63,000 after they exploited vulnerabilities in the online payroll system of a small business with its bank.

First, the crooks managed to infiltrate the company’s system through a piece of malware called the Zeus Trojan. This gave them access to the company’s data, including the password and username used in transacting with the company’s bank. The thieves then created several new ghost employees and created payroll accounts for them, which they sent to the bank and authenticated using the company controller’s username and password. And to cover their tracks, the hackers erased the confirmation emails regarding the transaction.

This incident highlights the need for better security systems in both the business and their bank as security experts cite online banking transactions as one of the favorite targets of cyber-criminals. Cyber-attacks such as this one exploit weaknesses in many existing systems that rely on very simple and automated authentication procedures to confirm transactions.

A direct threat to your business finances is not something to be taken lightly. You not only need to review your current online banking system, but also the current security protocols you have installed, since hackers and cyber-criminals are constantly updating Trojans and other malware to adapt to changing IT protection systems.

We encourage you to have us take a look at the systems you have in place to determine if you are at risk for attacks like these. Please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to draw up custom security solutions that address your specific needs.

References:
Sold a Lemon in Internet Banking
Cybercrooks Drive Away With $63,000 from Car Dealership

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
April 13th, 2011

lockerInternet security is an issue not to be taken lightly. As an increasing number of businesses use the web for more efficient operations, there is also more risk of being affected by malware and viruses. But thanks to initiatives such as WebBlaze and BitBlaze from Professor Dawn Song, developers are better equipped to make more effective IT security systems.

If you think hackers are the only ones doing their research to release newer and scarier viruses and malware on the web, think again. It is comforting to know that there are also very capable people doing what they can to make the internet a safer place like Professor Dawn Song, associate professor at the University of California at Berkeley and MacArthur Foundation fellow.

In a nutshell, Professor Song has been looking at different ways to make the internet experience more secure. Her two initiatives WebBlaze and BitBlaze are aimed toward developers who want to create better and much more secure programs and applications.

WebBlaze is a compilation of different strategies from Song and other like minds who tackle different problems and solutions in all sorts of platforms, and BitBlaze is an analysis tool for malicious software. While we won’t go into too much detail (it involves very complicated math), the gist is that Song and her colleagues are drawing up some very solid solutions to constantly evolving security issues on the web.

It’s exciting to see developments like these in the security industry. As threats continue to evolve, so does the means through which they are fought. The more we use the internet and the more the online experience becomes integral to the day-to-day operations of businesses big and small, the more important securing your data and information becomes. And because of efforts such as Professor Song’s, we can expect security programs to be much more effective and efficient as time passes.

Know more about BitBlaze and WebBlaze

Learn more about Dawn Song here

If you are looking to assess and beef up your security systems, we’d be happy to sit down with you and take a look at improvements that can make your business and your data much more secure.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
February 28th, 2011

Videoconferencing Communications technology is playing an increasingly important role in allowing healthcare providers to extend the reach of scarce or expensive expertise, and videoconferencing technology is contributing directly in applications such as patient monitoring, consultation and counseling. Both healthcare organizations and videoconferencing vendors are realizing the potential in using inexpensive standard ‘off-the-shelf’ videoconferencing products in these types of applications, helping providers achieve immediate saving benefits, and helping vendors develop both knowledge and specialized product offers in the growing market segment. Download the full whitepaper HERE to learn more about the use of video communications technologies in healthcare.

Topic General, News
January 13th, 2011

unfriend iconOne thing is clear, quality is still more important than quantity. Especially with the current economic downturn, people are downsize everything including online social circles.

November 17, 2010 was declared by Jimmy Kimmel during his television show as “National Unfriend Day”, the opportunity for all Facebook users to declutter their Facebook pages by “unfriending” people in their friends’ lists. He claims that Facebook has been “cheapening” the idea of friendship. To many the idea was hilarious, but others are seriously considering the wisdom of unfriending.

Is Kimmel on to something here? Can unfriending benefit your online business?

Research shows that as social media gets bigger, we’re getting smaller. Brian Wong, a network marketer says it simply: “With the growth of social networking, I am finding it increasingly difficult to separate business connections and personal connections.” He says that having almost 1,000 friends on Facebook has made it difficult for him to see the feeds and updates of his “real” friends and important business partners.

Lately there is a growing trend of de-scaling on the internet. People have started “pruning” their social lives online. For example, the popular Farmville app lost 30 million players this year, and people are beginning to realize that conversations and comments are more important than a huge number of blog hits.

So how can de-scaling and unfriending help your business? The drive to be more intimate can benefit your business by allowing you to form a tighter circle of customers, more successfully establishing you as a preferred channel for consumption.

Luckily, there are tools that can help you descale your social networks:

  1. Path Offers small-scale communities where people feel more comfortable sharing personal information. It controls who can view your information and does not include features that make your content viral.
  2. Letter.ly A subscription-based newsletter for bloggers who feel that public posts decrease the quality of conversations. This newsletter opens discussion only to people who pay, or who are privately invited to read a blog post.
  3. GroupMe A texting app which limits your group text participants to only 14, to ensure that meaningful dialogues take place.

What about the flip side of unfriending and descaling? While you’re considering who to eliminate from your social circles, your contacts are likely doing the same. Here are some tips to help you make their cuts:

1.       Be selective in your communications.
Of course, your product is important to you. But not every little detail is as important to your audience. Be sure to focus on key features and benefits from your audience’s perspective.

2.       Stay on topic.
Always give relevant communications to your customers, and never rant or badmouth competitors. This is a sure way to lose customers.

3.       Provide value.
In addition to talking about your product or service, find ways to provide value to your circle of friends. Understand topics and pain points important to them, and provide valuable information and advice to help them succeed. You’ll soon come to be considered as a valuable resource to your contacts one that they want to keep in their online social groups.

One thing is clear: quality is still more important than quantity, especially in the current economic downturn when people are downsizing everything. Start “pruning” your social network and take steps to avoid being pruned and you’ll reap the benefits of having a tight circle of loyal friends and customers.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
December 31st, 2010

wifi signThese days, more and more people are on the go, and many of them bring their work with them. While connecting to public and open-access Wi-Fi hotspots is indeed convenient, using open networks also pose risks that endanger your security.

While connecting to public and open-access Wi-Fi hotspots is indeed convenient, using open networks also poses risks that endanger your security. The open nature that allows anyone to use the connection also enables unscrupulous people to gain access to your private information. The whole act of stealing information from people who are using public Wi-Fi networks is called ‘sidejacking’.

There are applications such as Firesheep, for example, that provide an easy-to-use platform that others can exploit to spy and harvest personal, sensitive information from you. And since Firesheep is a Mozilla Firefox plug in, virtually anyone can download and use it to sidejack people on the same network.

You can’t be too cautious with your personal and business data these days, so you always need to have the proper laptop configuration and security infrastructure to protect your system, especially when you frequently avail of open and public networks. To know more about this, please feel free to give us a call and we’ll be happy to draw up some security options that meet your specific needs.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News