Tag Archives: IT

Why Video Conferences are Helpful to IT Personnel

Are you more productive on a phone or video call? Do you prefer meeting with people face to face or via a quick phone conversation? As an IT professional, it’s vital to stay up to date with the latest technology and collaborative tools to improve internal and external communications at your organization. While conference calls and in-person meetings are effective in certain scenarios, video conferencing solutions can make IT personnel more effective at their job.

With the rise of the remote workforce and the evolving nature of workplace responsibilities, IT professionals feel more pressure than ever to ensure that all communication channels are operating properly. Just as marketing or sales teams can use video conferencing solutions to collaborate with their teams, IT personnel can use these tools to ensure all systems are functioning optimally. Here are a few more ways IT workers can leverage video conferencing at their organization

Proactively solve tech issues

While small companies often have a small in-house IT team, larger organizations usually have off-site or even remote IT staff to handle tech issues. Video conferencing tools allow IT personnel to communicate effectively about various system problems or concerns. If IT professionals are based in numerous locations, video tech support lets teams collaborate and proactively address tech issues before they grow out of hand.

Improve operational productivity

Obviously, video conferencing tools are perfect for cutting down travel expenses and connecting remote teams. Yet, some professionals believe these solutions can be even more efficient and promote more operational productivity than normal in-person meetings. While face-to-face meetings can easily devolve into friendly chitchat, video conferences often have a designated start and end time, with people dialing in from all over. This makes veering off a meeting’s set agenda less likely.

To improve communications as an IT personnel, consider ReadyTalk’s video conferencing services today!

3 Ways ITExp0 2017 Can Transform Your Company’s Communications

3 ways to enjoy ITExpoReadyTalk is thrilled to be a first-time sponsor of ITExpo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this year! ITExpo is a communications-solutions event for engineers, IT managers, business owners and C-Level execs. As the communications industry continues to evolve, attendees enjoy coming to ITExpo to meet and hear from hundreds of solutions providers – all in a single place. It’s also a great event to learn best practices on how to improve efficiency, reduce cost and increase productivity.

As a first timer at this event, we’re not sure what to expect, but here are 3 things we can’t wait for.

1. Network with fellow cloud communications solutions experts.

We can’t wait to meet over 6,000 like-minded communications experts to exchange best practices and stories. Not only do we get to talk with like minded people, we get to see the latest technologies that enable people to better communicate – beacons, AI, virtual reality and more.

Because we’re always innovating, we’re looking forward to getting new ideas and sharing some of ours.

2. Learn more about and share ideas about the evolution of work.

The future of work is now — remote working, appealing to Millennials in the workforce, project-based work, mobile technology and more. We’ve been championing these evolving workforce ideas for more than 15 years, since the company was created. And many of these ideas and practices are already in the workforce. But what about tomorrow — Generation Z, AI, virtual reality and augmented reality?

We have some thoughts. While we’re at ITExpo, we’ll be sharing our most recent findings on the future of the workforce and how MSPs can adapt during the MSPExpo. Here are the details:

  • Title: The Future of the Workplace and MSPs
  • Speaker: Matt DiRienzo, Product Manager, Unified Communications
  • When: Friday, February 10 at 10 a.m. ET
  • Where: MSP-14

3. Get cool swag and be reminded of awesome companies.

It wouldn’t be a real trade show without tons of swag. We have our sights set on some cool apparel like socks. We know they’re all the rage.

We’ll have swag, too. In fact, our booth is going to be chock-full o’ swag, waiting for friendly faces to come by and spin our prize wheel! If you’re attending, stop by!

Win prizes at ReadyTalk booth #229.

4 Tech Tools IT Needs to Rethink

There are a few tools and workplace strategies today’s employees may not be using properly, and may not know it. These tools may be wasting money, gathering dust or not relevant anymore. Or worse, maybe all of those together at once! Don’t waste time, money and tech.

4 tech tools IT needs to rethinkAnd while you’re at it, consider how the workforce is changing and has already changed. Your employees are working remotely; that’s only increasing in frequency. Sales people are often at the office of your prospects and customers. IT personnel are working on servers at the data center. Marketing professionals are meeting with prospects at a trade show across the country. That doesn’t include all the doctor’s visits, dentist appointments, kids’ parties and more your employees are attending. Going mobile will increase productivity and ensure your workforce is still connected.

That’s why you need to rethink this technology in the office:

1. Desk phones

We live and work in a highly mobile world now, so there is no longer a need for the vast majority of employees to have and use desk phones. Instead, employers should empower their workers by providing them with work smartphones or implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy and reimbursing them for any added expenses.

Using smartphones, companies can use cloud communications, like hosted voice, to ensure people are contacted on their mobile device. It’s affordable and efficient.

2. Hard drive storage

Businesses thrive on easy access to necessary information. If your employees are storing their documents on outdated hard drives – or worse, on their desktop computer – your IT department is not only behind the times, but may also be putting your data at risk.

Hard drives are not a secure storage option, which is why your company should consider updating to the cloud. It’s secure. It’s affordable. And it’s usually saving your IT personnel time.

3. Email and instant message (IM)

A large portion of companies use free or low-cost email service providers. While convenient, these tools don’t maximize worker efficiency. Consider adding instant message (IM) to the mix to enable employees to easily contact each other. Again, cloud communications make that easy. Because let’s face it, there are a times a quick text is better than getting an email, especially when you’re on-the-go.

4. Video conferencing tools

If you aren’t using video conferencing tools to connect with employees, talk with prospects or get customer feedback, you’re missing out. It’s efficient and effective. Face-to-face communication is always best and video gets you one step closer, even as your workforce is busy. There are lightweight solutions that are affordable, like FoxDen, a product powered by ReadyTalk.

5 Tips on Moving to the Cloud

Move to the cloudCloud computing will continue to grow over the next few years. If your business is done with handling bulky, expensive on-premises IT systems, consider moving to the cloud today. It’ll free up IT resources, streamline and add to your productivity, enable your remote workers, provide business recovery benefits and more.

If you’re like most people, though, you have fears of moving to the cloud — from talking with employees about which data moves to security. Address those fears and get the most out of your move. Here are five tips on how to start:

1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

You don’t have to be fully on-premises or in the cloud. Many companies benefit from a hybrid IT environment. If you don’t believe you can move all your operations to the cloud, choose the ones that you can and keep the rest in-house.

2. Create goals

You need to develop a mix of short- and long-term goals for what you want to accomplish through moving to the cloud. This way, you’ll know you’ll be on track for reaching your main objective — a successful cloud migration.

3. Improve communication channels

Everyone should be in the loop during a major IT system restructuring like this. Take time to keep everyone informed and give periodic updates or hold Q&A sessions to give employees a chance to respond. This involves bringing them into the process before decisions are made. This will increase buy-in and ensure a higher adoption rate.

4. Address security concerns

Due to many high-profile data breaches in recent years, your clients and personnel may be concerned about the security risks from a cloud migration. Despite these worries, many companies actually boost their security abilities by switching to a cloud storage provider. Address their concerns to alleviate fears.

5. Use this time to consolidate and reorder data

Like spring cleaning, moving to a cloud-based data center is a great time to consolidate and get rid of excessive data or structures that are no longer relevant or needed. Again, you don’t have to do all or nothing.

Need more tips?

Get more information in our ebook (PDF), Move to the Cloud. You can even start small and move your communications system to the cloud.

Go Cloud Communications

5 Changes That Impact HR and Your Business

hrEvery year, the HR field goes through major transformations. From the rise of analytics to an increased emphasis on employee engagement levels, change is always taking place. In conjunction with the new presidential administration, an increasingly younger workforce and the introduction of new technology, here are five changes in HR that may impact your business this year:

1. Affordable Care Act

The Trump administration has repeatedly stated that it will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). Therefore, as an HR leader, you must stay up to date with the latest movements in the health care and insurance sectors. The plan to take its place hasn’t been clarified. Nor has the timeframe.

2. Overtime pay

In May 2016, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez updated the DOL’s final rule regarding overtime regulations. This will extend overtime pay to an estimated 4 million workers within the first year of implementation alone. Prior to this motion, businesses did not have to pay overtime if their workers made more than $23,660 per year. This rule update raises the limit to $47,476 a year. This change may likely affect many employees at your organization.

There’s no word on whether the Trump administration will work to undo this law.

3. Minimum wage

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, yet 29 states plus the District of Columbia have a higher minimum wage than the national average. Many state and city governments are in the process of increasing or are debating increasing their minimum wage, which could impact your non-salaried workers.

Chances are likely this will continue to be driven by states, cities and counties.

4. Feedback, not reviews

With a younger workforce on the rise, many companies are doing away with the dreaded performance review. Instead, organizations are turning to continuous feedback, rather than only once or twice a year. As an HR leader, you may be responsible for reworking your existing performance review strategy this year.

Because more companies are looking to do away with reviews, there’s a need for a better audit trail in case you need to lay off or fire workers. In fact, as a best practice many companies institute an employee performance improvement plan with information about the steps the company has taken to help the employee.

5. Rise in technology for remote working

People want the option to work remotely and not be tied down to their desks. Many offices across the country are introducing video conferencing tools and work-from-home policies to improve workplace satisfaction levels and leverage innovative technologies. This is something to be aware of as an HR leader moving forward into 2017 as 60% of the workforce will be working remotely. And more HR departments are working with IT counterparts to help make this happen for their company, including assisting with internal communications plans to roll this out to employees.