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Managed Networks

My father always said, ”Do what you do best and let others do the rest.” We are definitely seeing this trend more and more as organizations turn to managed service providers to provide managed networks that support all of their applications at all of their locations. They are finding great success as they focus on running their business instead of their networks. With time, resources and capital in short supply, organizations can’t afford to get sidetracked.

Managed networks combine physical network, routers, switches, management, maintenance and monitoring into one simple service. This allows your IT staff to focus on applications that bring value and productivity to your organization. Offloading the ongoing challenge of systems and skills updates will allow you to concentrate on priorities. The question isn’t whether your organization can afford managed network, but can you afford NOT to have a managed network?

• 33% of network downtime is due to human error

• More than 50% of the causes of downtime could be avoided by proper WAN management

• Almost 80% of network outages are caused by mistakes during configuration

If you are intrigued with the idea of cost savings, quick problem resolution, predictability, and best-of-breed solutions, then it is time to find the ideal provider. It is important to find one that is scalable to support small to large, multi-location, and multi-vendor networks. They should also offer end-to-end solutions with 24/7 support. The ideal managed network service provider should ensure business continuity in the event of an outage and have extensive experience in supporting large networks. By allowing a trusted partner to manage your networks, you will be free to achieve your business goals.

Private Line

Private lines are typically used by businesses that require a flexible, secure, and cost effective means for their employees to communicate and share information across a computer network. Private lines also provide a solid foundation for Wide Area Networks to run business critical applications such as VoIP phone service, remote application access, and file transfer or sharing. This becomes crucial for those operating across multiple locations. Private lines are great for connecting two of many locations into a designed network. Retail shops, restaurant chains, hotels, and franchises are finding superior call quality, performance and security across the board.

If you are searching for speed and security to safeguard your vital information while avoiding the hassles of the public internet, a private line may be your solution. Private lines provide the point-to-point connection through a dedicated circuit so no one else can use your communications path. You will be able to transmit mission-critical data, such as point-of-sale information, patient records, banking transactions, and government documents instantly and securely. You can avoid the bottlenecks on the public Internet because your private line is always available. You will also be in full compliance with financial, medical, and personal privacy regulations like HIPAA.

Not all private line services are created equal so you will want to do your homework to find the best fit for your organization. Everyone is looking for the most reliable network, but you also want the security of truly private connections with cost effective pricing. Threshold’s able to expand and improve your business communications while saving you valuable time and money.

Business-Class VoIP

VoIP solutions have been misunderstood by many small-to-medium businesses (SMB) for far too long. Residential-class VoIP products will not deliver the level of functionality and performance that a SMB needs, but there is the misconception that business-class VoIP offerings require a significant upfront investment in new phone systems. VoIP has the potential to level the playing field for all organizations, large or small.

Residential-class VoIP solutions rely on the public internet, which offers low quality and performance with little security guarantees. These products also can’t guarantee that voice calls will get priority over data transmissions. No matter the size or your organization, you can’t afford echoes, stuttering, clipping, or dropped calls. With residential-class VoIP, SMBs are required to obtain a broadband access solution from another provider. You will now be working with multiple vendors and your voice and data services are segregated.

Business-class VoIP allows you to consolidate all your current voice, and data lines into a single high speed connection. With your phone system, and computers, for all locations in one system, you will be eliminating maintenance and upgrade costs. Vendors now offer solutions that companies with as few as 5 employees can afford and maintain. With business VoIP, organizations experience a more efficient converged network. Not only will you see cost savings, but improvements in productivity delivered by new features. Reducing your costs will also allow you to redirect those funds to more important core projects which will help you achieve your business goals.

Unified Communication for Remote Workers

Are your remote workers too remote? When employees are juggling between home, office, and cell phones they may appear unprofessional or even elusive. Unified communication will provide powerful connections between your workers and the work, as well as between people inside and outside your organization. With a unified communication system in place, your entire staff can work as a single team no matter where they are located.

When virtual employees are integrated into the corporate telephony system, they can work more efficiently and increase overall productivity. They could have access to key features like direct-dial extensions, unified messaging, find-me-follow-me routing, and conferencing services. Extending your corporate VoIP solutions will also allow corporate management and security over all employees. Clients, customers, and partners will enjoy a consistent telephone experience, whether they are working with a part-time virtual employee or a full-time corporate executive.

With unified communication, savings could be realized from the reduction of long distance and inter-office call charges and underutilized telephone lines. Smaller businesses also benefit from the standardized billing. Innovative communication systems keep costs low while improving operational efficiency. Each business has different needs for unified communications and scalability allows for growth while you build your business

Unified communications can give your business the competitive edge you may be looking for. Let Threshold show you how to reduce your overhead, increase your employee retention, and provide your employees with a more productive and flexible work environment.

Multiple Locations on One Phone System

Are you struggling to figure out how to manage phone communications between your main headquarters and remote locations? Perhaps your business is growing beyond a single location and you need physical sites in multiple locations or home offices. You will definitely want to continue to treat your business as one cohesive unit and maintain that single look, feel, and sound. A unified phone system can change the way you do business by offering solutions that unite multiple locations with a single point of administration.

Time is money and in order to serve your customers effectively and efficiently you must give them easy access to information and staff. With multiple locations on one phone system, customers can call one phone number to reach anyone in the company regardless of where they are located. Incoming calls can also be automatically routed based on your customized settings so there is no need to worry about missing important business calls as you travel between offices. Companies on a unified phone system find a seamless integration of employees who work from home permanently or occasionally, transfer, or relocate to an out of state site.

Businesses with various locations across multiple area codes are finding savings in long distance charges with a unified system. With one system, you reduce the need for expensive multiple phone lines and the hassle of multiple extensions. Your scalable phone system can grow when your business grows keeping your monthly communication cost predictable. One phone system really can connect all customers to all locations all of the time.

Colocation for Small Businesses Too

Colocation is a great option for small businesses who want the reliability that large companies enjoy without the costs. Instead of investing a large amount of capital in building their own data center and IT team, businesses are housing their servers at a colocation facility that provides the extensive Internet infrastructure as well as a secure physical and cyber environment. These facilities also have better outage protection so your sites are protected against natural and man-made disasters.

Small businesses are finding substantial savings in overhead and lower usage fees. Colocation facilities charge for bandwidth based on total traffic consumption per month. Not only are they receiving the bandwidth and high caliber network usually exclusive to very large corporations, they are just paying for what they use. Server colocation puts small businesses on an even playing field with the big corporations.

Organizations looking to grow are great candidates for server colocation because they can upgrade at their own pace. They will also receive a fairly large Web presence without having to deal with items such as network connections. Resources and time are better spent on revenue producing activities. Complexity and costs are on the rise so many small businesses are finding that colocation is a great solution that will allow them to reach their objectives.

Evolve from Integrated Access

Integrated access is certainly not new, but today there are so many more options. Customers can choose from a variety of access methods, as well as services and features. Unfortunately, yesterday’s integrated access is no longer cost-effective, while today’s allows your communication dollar to go much further. Using VOIP, small to medium-sized companies can carry voice and data over the same connection fully utilizing every bit of the available bandwidth for each service type. As your business environment changes, your needs change as well. There are simple solutions to continue using your existing equipment or take advantage of today’s affordable hardware that is easy to set up. We are seeing businesses reduce their overall costs through the usage plans and predictable billing.

Enjoy the ease and convenience of having one service and one contact, which can in turn increase your company’s efficiency and leverage. VOIP can address the range of current size and infrastructure needs while still utilizing your equipment investment. Businesses experience flexible growth since the service is scalable and interchangeable, allowing them to migrate to a fully VoIP environment at their own pace. Operational efficiency will also increase by reducing the need for hardware and equipment upgrades.

Really, the benefits are simple. By evolving from integrated access to VOIP and dynamically sending voice and data traffic onto a single network, your company can expect to cut costs, improve efficiency, and reach your business goals. What are you waiting for? Let Threshold help design a package to best fit your needs and budget today!

Why Get Your Own Cloud

There is no doubt that every IT professionals’ number one concern about cloud services is security. Are they more worried about loss of control than real security risks? Some say the concerns are overblown and security is even better with a cloud deployment, but as the argument continues, it does bring forward issues concerning data management that cloud vendors need to address. Where exactly is my data located and how many others share the same storage?

People are flocking to the clouds looking to improve access and connectivity to information as well as improve uptime of systems. Businesses are paying a very high monthly recurring cost to a cloud computing company to lease space in their environment. For cost savings, most data storage and/or backups are mixed together with other companies rather than segregated. This doesn’t become an issue until, for example, company ABC, that lives on your same infrastructure, receives a warrant for all data, tapes, and servers. Not only will you lose your servers and the SANs, but your backups as well! Don’t you own your data? In the US, possession is 9/10 of the law, so unless you have a clear agreement in place, the provider possesses and owns the data.

Depending on the nature of your business, a private cloud may best address the security needs of your customers. Not only do they enable the IT departments to remain in control of the corporate data, it provides protection for mission-critical and other operational systems. Whether they are located on or off the premises, private clouds are protected by the corporate firewall, enabling greater security and control. The identity-based security helps ensure that only authorized people get access to the infrastructure and the resources they need. You get all the scalability, metering, and time-to-market benefits of a public cloud service without giving up control and security.

Building your own cloud in a data center does come with a slightly higher initial cost, but a much lower monthly recurring cost. For example, Threshold has helped companies reduce their monthly costs by 20% while receiving 10x more capacity and throughput. Private clouds are quickly becoming an important component of IT portfolios and may be the solution you have been looking for.

SIP Trunks

Many businesses are already using VoIP, however, most are only using it for communication on the company LAN. They are taking advantage of lower administrative costs and lower intra-company call rates, but are missing the opportunity for a greater ROI by not incorporating SIP trunking. The full potential for IP communications can only be realized outside the corporate LAN.

Not only will your business save more money with SIP trunking, you will make more money as your productivity improves. Think of it as the stepping stone that moves communication from the old PSTN connection to the internet which opens the door to a wealth of opportunities. Realtime communication has a tremendous impact on how people work, collaborate, and communicate. Rich communication allows users to exchange ideas for immediate situations through Instant Messaging, File Transfer, Application Sharing and Collaborating, Whiteboarding, and Video Conferencing.

Business can be conducted from anywhere in the world so that your customers have maximum access to your staff, regardless of time zone or location. Remote employees can access corporate resources in order to save the company money, they can leverage expertise from colleagues around the world, or use SIP to provide exceptional service to customers. In addition, businesses are able to increase remote connectivity with the ability to register multiple devices with the same address. Simply put, your employee can be reached in multiple locations because their home office IP phone and their corporate office IP phone are registered to the same number. Those who travel overseas frequently are finding potential cost savings with the ability to transfer expensive cellular calls into virtually-free VoIP calls when connected to the internet.

It almost seems too good to be true – doing business without geographical constraints, employees contributing equally regardless of location, and everyone is reachable anywhere and anytime with an internet connection. This is the next evolution of telecommunications and Threshold looks forward to sharing it with you.

Private DSL

Are you looking for a better way to connect your remote employees or smaller branch offices to the main office network?  Private DSL not only provides a secure connection to your network, but also ensures a cohesive security policy.  By using the same firewalls, you are blocking out non-work related material and reducing the risk of viruses or threats. With access to all the central systems, your employees are then able to work safely and effectively.

A private DSL network is a very cost efficient way of connecting multiple sites to a main site.  Because they are easy to manage and require relatively simple on-site equipment, it is not necessary to have an on-site IT manager.  The ease of use and installation has proven to be priceless. DSL has opened up opportunities for small and medium sized companies that were otherwise financially impossible.

Since virtual offices are connecting with each other via their private lines, data is transmitted without risk because private DSL never touches the internet.  The copper-based telephone network on which DSL operates is one of the most reliable infrastructures in the world.  Phone lines rarely go down and, if they do, are restored quickly.  DSL can also ensure super-fast broadband speeds to handle all types of applications and data transfer.

If you are struggling to control and connect your network, this may be the simple solution you have been looking for.  At Threshold, we can reduce time and cost to your business while enabling your employees to work safely and productively from remote offices.

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