Let’s Look at Some of the Best Business Software Solutions

Happy guy looking at camera while sitting by workplace and working with software

All businesses utilize software to a certain extent, but not all companies have the same needs. That being said, there are certain types of software that all businesses can benefit from, regardless of industry or service offerings. We’ve put together a list of business software solutions that companies can utilize to improve operations.

Productivity Suites

Most businesses use a productivity suite, which is basically just a fancy way of talking about a suite of software that includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation software, email and calendar management program, and other productivity applications. In fact, we would say that it is almost a prerequisite for a business to have a productivity suite just for the ability to open and edit files or documents. Some of the most common productivity suites out there include Microsoft 365 Apps for Business and Google Workspace, but there are other more focused productivity suites for specific purposes, like the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Similar to productivity suites, most businesses use traditional landlines to make and receive phone calls. While this was an accepted practice for some time, the more modern solution is to utilize a Voice over IP application on either a desktop or a mobile device to make and receive calls. Not only does this save you quite a bit in terms of up-front costs and operational costs, but it also makes adding new users to the infrastructure infinitely easier, as it does not involve installing new hardware (unless, of course, you want to use physical handsets).

Password Management

Passwords are a major pain point for businesses, so you need to treat them as such. While passwords can be made complex, this also makes them difficult to remember. This is where password management comes into play; these solutions offer a secure, protected vault for your passwords and can pull from this vault when the credentials are needed, removing the need to remember them entirely. It is a great way to augment your accounts’ security without compromising on password quality.

Antivirus and Other Security Solutions

It goes without saying that you need to be securing your business’ network and endpoints at all times. It doesn’t matter how small of a business you run. Hackers can and will find data on your network that presents some kind of value, whether it is to them personally or to someone on the black market. They might even be out to cause a little bit of chaos and infect your computers just for the sake of doing so. Who can say for sure? All we can say for sure is that you need to secure your network and its endpoints.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Encryption is a powerful tool that helps you keep your data secure, especially while out of the office. A virtual private network can encrypt data sent to and from your device, improving privacy and security while on unsecured networks. It is especially helpful when working on a public Wi-Fi connection or while traveling.

Adding new software solutions to your business’ infrastructure might sound difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. 4Corner IT can help your business implement software solutions designed to improve operations and provide sustainability for your business. To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

Need to Cut Costs? Switch to a VoIP Solution

rows of VOIP office phones

VoIP, the shortened form of Voice over Internet Protocol, can be considered the latest and greatest in telecommunication, a far superior solution to traditional landlines. Some businesses have embraced this technology with open arms, whereas others still cling to their landlines as their lives depend on it. At the end of the day, relying on your landline when a VoIP solution exists is no different from throwing money away.

The numbers reported below are pulled from a guide put together by Harbor Networks. They show just how much the average small business can save by something as simple as a shift in telecommunications to a VoIP solution.

The Capital Savings Are No Joke

The first savings you might notice from VoIP are from the costs associated with traditional telephone communications. A report by Telzio states that businesses save up to 50% on monthly communication costs by switching to a VoIP service. It must also be noted that this 50% was separate from the additional cost savings that come from hosted VoIP’s lack of maintenance costs, which further drives the solution’s value. As if that weren’t enough, startup costs for hosted VoIP are low or nonexistent. Additional VoIP cost savings come from those cut from teleconferencing (30%) and local calls (40%).

Enhanced Productivity Leads to Additional Cost Savings

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to adopt a more flexible stance on remote work, this trend was increasing long before. Businesses have been adopting VoIP for a while now to accommodate the increasing requests for remote work, and businesses that did saw a significant increase in productivity. Productivity then transforms into savings. Just imagine what your staff could achieve with a 20% boost to their productivity and an average savings of 40 minutes per workday. It can add up quickly!

Hosting Alleviates the Challenges of a VoIP Solution

One of the biggest challenges that come from a solution like VoIP is figuring out who will manage and maintain it. This is especially pertinent for small businesses that have limited resources at their disposal, particularly for IT. If your small business is already struggling to get by and has a limited budget, hosted VoIP offers significant savings that makes managing a VoIP system as easy as can be but much more affordable as a whole.

If you don’t have someone on-premises to manage your VoIP solution, a managed service provider can help to address this shortcoming. We can host your VoIP solution for you and manage and maintain it so that you can focus on making use of it. Only 14% of businesses without full-time IT staff have issues with VoIP, and we think it’s largely because of the existence of MSPs like 4 Corner IT that this number is as low as it is. We strive to make our services as accessible to small businesses as possible, especially those that do not have in-house IT resources.

The longer you wait to implement a solution like VoIP, the more savings you are missing out on. To get started today, reach out to 4 Corner IT at (954) 474-2204.

4 Options for Your Business’ Communication Infrastructure

overhead view of a wooden table with several hands holding laptops and phones and communications graphics overlaid

Businesses depend on their communications solution to work with clients, vendors, and their staff. Depending on the specific needs of the company, a business might implement any number of communication solutions, all of which have various strengths, weaknesses, and uses. We’ll walk you through some of the most common communication solutions, as well as why you might want them for your company.

We want to kick this off with a quick reminder that all of these solutions here are fully capable of being implemented in a cloud-based environment. This is important because it improves accessibility and allows your team to stay connected no matter where they are!

Now, let’s get into the details.

Email

You likely already have an email server for your business, but if not, then there’s no better time to talk about the benefits. Not only does it let you stay in touch with clients and give your company a professional presence, but it also gives you a way to communicate in-office with your coworkers and staff. It goes without saying how important email is, but you will want to make sure that your solution best suits your company’s needs. One of the big considerations you will have to make is whether you want to host your own or outsource the responsibility to a provider. As always, it depends on your company’s budget and technology management expertise.

Instant Messaging

For cases when emails are not urgent enough, you have instant messaging. Instant messaging allows you to instantaneously connect with people within your company for whatever you happen to need. IMs are particularly useful to get answers to quick questions or to get an immediate response. They can also be helpful for just chatting and staying in touch; group chats can be very effective at building camaraderie and establishing a good company culture.

Voice over IP

Email and instant messaging are more text-based methods of communication, so let’s discuss another method that relies on voice: VoIP, or Voice over IP. VoIP can effectively replace your company’s telephone solution with software for your desktop, laptop, or smartphone. It’s particularly great because it eliminates the need to work with your local telephone company by allowing you to use your Internet connection instead. Plus, VoIP has all of the features that your traditional telephone solution has, plus some.

Unified Communications Solutions

Perhaps one of the best ways to stay in touch with your company is with a unified communications solution that includes most, if not all of the above features. It provides a single centralized solution for all of your company’s communication needs. Think of the solutions like Slack and Microsoft Teams–these are great examples of unified communications solutions.

4Corner IT can equip you with all of the important tools you need to boost communications in the workplace. To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

VoIP: A Game Changer for Business Communications

Voip Phone with icon - concept for phone connected to multi device

Businesses have long used telephony solutions of some sort, but the traditional landline is an archaic piece of technology in the modern office. You can take your organization to the next level with a more dynamic and flexible solution, one that has the same features without all of the headaches associated with traditional telephone systems. A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution can completely change your communications for the better.

VoIP vs Traditional Landlines

The major differences between VoIP and landlines are substantial. With landlines, the technology has not changed much over the years, and you probably have the same telephone lines that existed back when you started your business. Your handsets hook up to your local telephone company’s infrastructure, the center responsible for relaying the calls. With VoIP, on the other hand, the Internet is used to transfer calls. This is a major difference that cannot be ignored. While it relies on Internet connectivity, it also reduces unnecessary expenses, which is invaluable for small businesses and enterprises alike.

All the Great Features

VoIP can do just about everything that the traditional landline telephone solution can do, even more so. All features like conference calling, call forwarding, voicemails, extensions, putting users on hold, and more are present here and can be utilized by your staff as needed. VoIP even has features that are impossible through your traditional landline system, like voice and video chat integration, instant messaging, and more. In other words, it is a dynamic solution that fits right into today’s workplace.

None of the Frustrations

Adding new users to your landline infrastructure can be considered difficult, as it entails new wires for the handsets, the purchasing of new hardware to take calls, and the allocation of space for new offices and workstations. Some of these frustrations do still exist for VoIP, but the important thing is that you typically don’t have to run new wires or revamp tons of space just to do so. As long as you have the hardware, VoIP makes adding new users easy, as VoIP applications can be installed on mobile devices, laptops, or desktops with ease. You don’t need to hook them up to your phone infrastructure or run new wires. All you need to do is create an account, assign an extension, hook them up to hardware, and install the software on that device.

Lower Costs

The concept of “cord-cutting” is nothing new, especially with media streaming applications replacing television, and VoIP takes this one step further. Companies often bundle services together, creating more expenses for services that are either underutilized or completely unnecessary. Sometimes telephone companies might bundle together television services or Internet services, but it’s simply a waste if you don’t need all of these services. VoIP eliminates this by letting you use a pre-existing service—the Internet—for voice communication, and since you are practically guaranteed to use the Internet, you’re not wasting any revenue on it. VoIP also makes costs more flexible and scalable to your needs, making it budget-friendly and customizable.

Get Started with a VoIP Solution Today

A VoIP solution can be a wonderful asset for businesses that want to reimagine their communication infrastructure. If you need a hand getting started, we would be happy to help. To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

A Beginner’s Guide to Office 365

a beginner guide to office 365

Office 365 has evolved and transformed to stay relevant in today’s business world. Yet many businesses still use it exclusively for Microsoft Word and Excel. If you find yourself looking at the other apps and features and wondering what they do, keep reading this guide to Office 365.

Applications

So, we all know about Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. These applications are essential for creating documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and communicating internally and externally.

But we encourage you to take a look at other apps like SharePoint, which we’ll talk about later, as well as Microsoft Teams, a group chat tool.

Cloud Storage

Office 365 makes use of cloud computing to store and secure your files. This makes it easy to retrieve them if something happens to one of your computers.

Cloud storage is great, but migrating to it can be tricky. You need to make sure you can find all of your documents and keep them all safe.

Collaboration 

Some businesses still collaborate by having their employees send email attachments back and forth to each other. This method is slow and confusing. It’s easy to mix up the files and send the wrong one.

Microsoft SharePoint is an Office 365 app dedicated to collaboration and file sharing. With it, your employees can work on the same file, so they don’t have to send anything through email.

The Beginner’s Learning Curve

There’s a lot of information here, and we’ll admit that there’s a beginner’s learning curve. Once you get over it, however, using the applications comes naturally. Just consider getting some outside help so you can get comfortable with the apps and migrate your data over.

To talk more about Office 365, or anything else, contact us today.