An IT consultant is a skilled professional who charges a fee for their services. Such a person may operate as an independent contractor, in which case he or she would be considered an independent consultant. IT Consulting can consist of a variety of services in a wide range of IT categories.
An IT contractor may also work for a firm that provides advisory services. Clients normally pay an hourly rate for IT consulting services. Offering your clients open correspondence channels with your organization at painfully inconvenient times is significant. This implies having a current web presence with effectively available contact data, and a help group.
On the off chance that clients are utilizing your item, they ought to have the option to request and find support, regardless of what season of day it is. Regardless of whether it’s just a computerized reaction that discloses to them your administration and backing hours, and gives connects to conceivable break arrangements, that is superior to leaving them out of the loop, not knowing when they’ll get a reaction. For sites that have live talk includes, the best ones let clients know where they are in the help line and how much stand by an ideal opportunity to expect. That is the means by which you show your client you’re there, you understand they have a need and you will address it as quickly as time permits.
An information technology consultant (IT consultant) is an individual that provides advice, guidelines and a road map for sourcing, utilizing and managing IT assets and resources. An IT consultant provides organizations with best practices for using IT solutions and services for their business objectives and in solving their problems.
Typically, an IT consultant specializes in one key area or domain. They can consult and help implement websites, software, network infrastructure, cloud environments, ERP and other IT business solutions.
IT consultants advise clients on everything from the overall IT strategy to what should be hosted in the data center, not in the cloud; depending on the type of technology and functionality required in the context of the customer’s business and IT environment, and goals such as process automation or cyber security.
“Consulting is more than advising, it is assisting clients to reach a goal and preparing the client for the real-world issues of implementation and system operation.” José Franco.
In other words :-
An IT consultant is a third-party service provider that impart advise to clients on how to use Information Technology to meet the specific business requirements. IT consultants work with a professional IT consulting firm or as freelancers. They analyze business requirements and create information systems solutions that helps in fulfilling the organization’s goals.
This informs companies about how they can achieve business results using technology. It’s when a consultant’s recommendation accelerates the use of technology and helps an organization to become more effective and less wasteful giving them a competitive edge in the market.
It includes but not limited to:
Internet of Things
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SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
All major search engines such as Google and Bing have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos, images or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.
VIDEO: SEO Explained
New to SEO? Start with this quick and easy to understand video about search engine optimization. It’ll quickly cover the basics:
If you need quality video content like above, Common Craft can help produce a video.
More Search Engine Advice For Beginners
For more basic but also in-depth advice, our Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors, introduces you to all the key concepts you need to know, including elements of on-page SEO, off-page SEO as well as the “Toxins” or elements to steer clear of. We also take a look at emerging verticals of search optimization:
Precise Business Solutions Guide To SEO
As a companion to the table, Precise Business Guide To SEO explains the search ranking factors in more depth. It also features tips and advice from SEO experts on implementing them to achieve greater visibility and higher rankings in organic search results.
Links to each chapter in the SEO Guide are shown below. Chapter links at the bottom of each make it easy to navigate through the guide.
Daily Search Engine News & Expert SEO Advice
In addition to daily news stories from our editorial staff, Precise Business publishes daily articles from expert contributors that cover SEO issues mainly from an in-the-trenches perspective.
Browse the SEO Channel for the most recent SEO news stories and expert columns. Sign up to receive Precise Business daily email newsletter featuring a roundup of search marketing news and exclusive analysis and insights.
In addition to covering SEO generally, Precise Business also has search engine optimization areas specifically for the major search engines:
Also within our library is the How To: SEO section is devoted to practical tips and tactics about search engine optimization.
We also have sub-categories, including:
We also cover technical SEO topics, including an ongoing SEO for Developers series.
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The new SBC for v18 has been released. Get it now for increased reliability with the new reconnect feature, as well as the ability to bulk update SBCs via the Instance Manager.
Reconnect: Instant recovery from internet failure
When the internet connection goes down, the call is no longer dropped. The 3CX Tunnel keeps media ports intact, allowing continued media transmission in case the SBC disconnects. The SBC will automatically reconnect ongoing calls without having to re-invite.
Update remotely via Instance Manager
Admins and partners can now remotely update all SBCs via the Instance Manager. The update process is triggered via Tunnel, saving precious admin time.
Advantages of using the 3CX SBC
The 3CX SBC is recommended for all cloud installations as it allows easy deployment and management of IP Phones to a 3CX instance in the cloud. Whether hosted in your private cloud or hosted by 3CX. The 3CX SBC combines all SIP (signaling) and RTP (media) VoIP Packets from one location and delivers them to the cloud PBX, thereby overcoming common firewall and networking issues that affect reliability. Read how to configure and install the 3CX SBC.
Save time and work more efficiently with the 3CX Extension for Chrome. Requires Version 16 Update 4 and above.
The 3CX Extension for Chrome gives you nonstop, immediate access to make and receive calls with a mini, pop-out web client. Keep your browser free for other apps and projects and work more efficiently. With the dialer pop-up, you can also check the status of your colleagues and, since the extension is fully integrated, it works flawlessly with your CRM so that incoming caller IDs are matched and call history can be logged.
IT problems are persistent technology issues that cause risks and costs. By contrast, an incident is a single event that causes business disruption. Where incidents are usually resolved in minutes or hours, problems can last years or decades. The following are common types of IT problems.
IT Problem 1: Architectural Complexity
A large number of systems or an architectural landscape that is too complex for the business functions it addresses. Complexity tends to result in cost and a higher rate of incidents.
A lack of logs and information to aid audits and investigations.
Authentication And Authorization
Weakness in basic security controls that authenticate users and authorize information access and transactions.
A technology service with too much downtime. In many cases, any system that is available less than four nines is a problem.
Backup And Restore
Data that isn’t sufficiently backed up or that lacks established restore procedures. Precise Business Solutions partners with MSP360 to backup and restore files.
IT Problem 5: Brittleness
Technology that easily breaks such as upgrades that always seem to fail.
Business Technology Alignment
Technology that the business doesn’t need or that fails to support business functions.
Capacity limitations such as data storage or bandwidth.
IT Problem 8: Change Control
Changes that are made to code, configurations or infrastructure outside of a properly controlled process. For example, ad hoc maintenance without approvals or notifications.
Technology functions and conditions that fail to comply with laws and regulations.
IT Problem 10: Configuration Management
Configuration management is the practice of controlling and recording the configuration of hardware and software including code changes. It is used to analyze the impact of change and troubleshoot incidents. Operating a technology platform without configuration management tends to be a problem. For example, it can be difficult to determine which update caused a new issue.
Data that is needed by multiple processes and systems that isn’t properly integrated. Precise Business Solutions offers software development to help with this common IT problem
Data that is maintained in multiple systems and documents, typically resulting in inconsistencies.
Data that is missing, wrong, poorly formatted or difficult to access to support business processes.
Software and hardware bugs can be considered problems if they are a persistent issue.
IT Problem 15: Design Debt
A design debt is a poor software design that causes future costs. In many cases, projects are rushed and design shortcuts are taken. Such savings in short term costs tend to result in future maintenance, incidents and additional costs to projects that rely on the design.
A technology platform that is vulnerable to disasters. For example, a platform that runs from a single physical location or that relies on a single resource such as a particular telecom provider.
An IT organization that lacks a consistent structure such as shared services, platforms, standards, practices and designs.
Services that easily crash when they encounter an error.
Information Security Vulnerabilites
Vulnerabilities that allow threats to compromise information security.
IT Problem 20: Interoperability
Components and platforms that don’t work together seamlessly.
Missing knowledge related to your IT platform. In some cases, organizations have systems with millions of lines of code that have no design documentation or maintenance procedures.
Technology that has aged to the point that it is expensive to support, difficult to extend and at risk of failing.
Components of information technology that are expensive and high risk to maintain.
Mean Time To Repair
A common measure of the average time to fix an incident when it occurs. A high mean time to repair (MTTR)is indicative of problems such as missing knowledge, skill gaps and poor designs.
IT Problem 25: Operations Processes
A lack of mature IT operations processes for support, maintenance and improvement.
Applications or services that have no identifiable owner in your organization.
Services that are generally slow or that fail when business volumes peak.
Insufficient privacy controls that represent compliance, liability and reputation risks.
Problems related to process integration such as event processing limitations and failures.
IT Problem 30: Reliability
A tool or component that doesn’t perform consistently such as errors that appear to be erratic.
Unclear or insufficient procedures and policies for data retention.
Services and systems that fail to support increased business volume in an efficient way.
A single point of contact for support of information technology. Service desk problems range from a complete lack of support to the need to further optimize support performance.
Service management is a broad term for the comprehensive set of processes that deliver information technology to business. Problems in this area include financial, design, implementation, deployment and operations management issues.
IT Problem 35: Software Bloat
Software that is far too complex for its function.
The tendency for software to age quickly due to its overall complexity and the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, software becomes less reliable with time.
Software that fails to function or behave as documented in specifications such as business requirements.
A poorly designed technology stack that is difficult to maintain, improve and extend.
Subject Matter Experts
A lack of highly skilled experts in areas such as architecture, security, infrastructure, design and programming.
IT Problem 40: Technology Silos
The tendency for organizational units such as departments and teams to create their own technology platforms and data repositories. Can result in an extremely complex, duplicative and expensive architecture that is poorly understood, brittle and vulnerable.
An inability to regression test changes due to poor documentation of existing functionality.
Transactional integrity refers to the atomicity of business functions. For example, a financial transaction such as a stock trade should either succeed or fail with nothing inbetween. Transactions that partially succeed result in data issues that have negative business impacts such as a stock trade that purchases shares but fails to debit the client’s account for the cost.
Interfaces that are difficult to use resulting in low employee engagement, productivity issues and human error.
IT Problem 44: Vendor Lock In
A dependency on a vendor specific tool or service that would be expensive and high risk to change. In such cases, vendors may hold strong negotiating power and be unresponsive to your business needs or may escalate fees.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a protocol that you can use to make calls using your internet connection as a phone line. Since you’re already paying for internet access, the only added cost is purchasing the VoIP service, thereby reducing your cost of phone services.
Mobile apps are also available from the top VoIP providers, allowing you to use your mobile phone to make and receive calls from anywhere.
Especially useful for business, some of the more important aspects of using a VoIP system include video calling, screen and file sharing, web conferencing and chat. Additional high-end features include solutions also offer digital assistants, call queues and integrated email.
More prominent VoIP providers include Avaya, Skype, 8×8 and Viber. Our team of B2B experts provide comprehensive reviews of these platforms, including RingCentral, one of the highest scoring solutions in the VoIP category.
Choose the Best VoIP Provider for Your Needs
VoIP cuts the traditional landline wires often used in a business telephone system and anticipated to diverge and effectively displace traditional landlines in modern businesses for the foreseeable future. Realistically, the increasing volume of worldwide VoIP service providers demonstrates that fast and reliable online phone service will permanently institute Voice over Internet Protocol as our standard communication outlet more quickly than we can imagine.
Why cut the cord on traditional landlines for VoIP? It’s elementary – Today’s VoIP systems for nearly any businesses and SMBs are multi-faceted, customizable, omnipresent, and cost so much less than the convoluted landline systems! Although the benefits of software-based VoIP systems vary from one platform to the next, what remains a common thread is that they all rely on IP networks to transmit voice calls. This translates to a much more efficient customer connection throughout your entire business system.
VoIP: First Things First
You may dream of having a more state-of-the-art business; however, you should consider whether a VoIP solution would be beneficial to your needs. Two benchmarks must be met first before opting for a VoIP system: One – will a VoIP system minimize the call traffic you receive each day? Second – do you have the necessary internet systems prepared to install and initiate an advanced VoIP platform to handle those calls?
The basis of any VoIP platform requires a stable broadband internet connection and solid bandwidth, followed by the flawless performance of all of your switches and routers. VoIP translates voice calls to data, so your internet system will be data-heavy. This requires a system that can compile traffic according to priority and help you select the correct system provider, specifically one that offers caps on bandwidth so you don’t have to set them yourself.
Not only does your internet system need to be adequate, you also require the correct hardware (telephones, fax machines, routers, adapters, etc.) that can recognize and protect against probable security threats. Defense against your security include anticipating traffic volume, installing DDoS and password control to prevent hacks to your network.
Installing and Launching VoIP
Often the VoIP service is hosted elsewhere, eliminating any difficulties you may have with its installation. You can also bypass the need of redirecting or forwarding calls without added hardware installation.
A more complicated option is investing in a VoIP compatible PBX system that uses a PSTN gateway that converts data to voice calls. While this type of a system may be less expensive, it also requires a much more arduous installation process and may not be worth the investment in the long run.
The basis of VoIP technology itself is three-fold, all working toward the primary function of any VoIP system – the ability to make virtually free phone calls.
One installation option is to use IP phones. They look like conventional telephones; however they use an RJ-45 Ethernet connection rather than the standard RJ-11 connection. Via the Ethernet, all calls are transmitted to your network router so you can implement them online via Wi-Fi.
Secondly, and also requiring a solid and quick internet connection, is to install an analog adapter. With this installation, the analog adapter converts all analog phone calls to digital data. Although this seems like a convoluted approach, it is one of the easiest ways to install and launch your VoIP system quickly.
The third installation option also manages long-distance calls. In this instance, you must establish a connection between multiple devices through a DSL modem. Since you will also have monthly payments to your ISP for the modem and services, this once again spotlights the lower cost features of VoIP.
Testing Providers Through Free Trials
The try-before-you-buy concept is critical before making the final decision on your new system. It’s important that you thoroughly understand what each service option is, what it does and how it can positively affect your business’s productivity.
Small and mid-sized businesses and organizations can lower costs with VoIP systems.
Larger operations can take advantage of the higher-end services with business-level VoIP services.
6 Featured Top-Rated Platforms
3CX: an advanced open source phone system that is customizable to your needs. Precise Business Solutions offers VoIP Consultation and Installation of this system.
Nextiva: an all-in-one cloud-based system for voice calls, business conferences, online meetings, and more. They also offer a free online demo.
8×8: another cloud-based VoIP service for small to large enterprises with advanced features that include web conferencing, internet faxing and Smartphone integration.
Skype: a web-based communication tool, Skype is more than text software. It also offers video chat and international calling services.
Mitel: Mitel Communications offers a suite of cloud-based services to integrate any size business including phone and video conference calls, web sharing capabilities, and mobile communications.
Google Hangouts: a communications platform developed by Google that offers a variety of communications services including text, phone calls and video chats.
4 Typical Categories of VoIP Providers
Integrated platforms – For the beginner just learning about VoIP systems, integrated systems utilize traditional phone equipment and legacy systems integrated with VoIP service. Users are familiar with their current phone systems while the system works in the background to enhance the legacy system.
SIP Trunks – Session Initiation Protocol is an ideal solution for companies still using PBX systems yet want all of the benefits of VoIP including mobile phone capabilities.
Managed IP PBX – Comparable to SIP Trunks, but the provider manages the details and maintains the technology. The equipment is provided from the IP vendor and charges for its services.
Hosted IP PBX – a cloud-based system similar to managed IP, however the business does not receive hardware from the service provider.
Find Me/Follow Me – an advanced call routing, call-forwarding feature for mobile teams. Users provide a list of phone numbers where they can be reached prior to the call being forwarded to voicemail.
Voicemail to email Transcription – this feature will transcribe your voicemail messages into text and send them to your email inbox.
On Hold Music – Callers placed on hold will hear music while they’re on hold.
Call Screening – Using a Caller ID feature, you can see the phone number of the caller, allowing you to decide how to handle the call.
Auto Attendant – Callers are greeted with an automated voice menu system allowing callers to select the proper menu option for their needs.
Conferencing – This feature allows you to seamlessly coordinate a conference including a floor monitor, inviting participants, muting callers and even “hand raises” for participants who want to ask questions or comment.
Do Not Disturb – Use this option to put a temporary block on incoming calls while you are busy.
In comparing various VoIP service platforms, we found the following two benefits:
VoIP is relatively inexpensive, thereby keeping you within your budget.
VoIP keeps your up-front costs low, regardless of the size of your company, especially those who already maintain a strong broadband internet connection for their current calls and instant messaging. With the exception of SIP, most times there is no need for high-end hardware to support a VoIP system. Most providers also offer package subscriptions without contracts, so you only pay for the services or data that you use. If you operate a global unconsolidated business, you can save on the free international calling benefit, which further enhances the attractiveness of the low-cost startup.
Redirected Mobile Calls
This is another benefit for the discerning businessperson who is always on the go. You can use your cell phone to call and receive calls right from the home office just by installing an app.
VoIP – Powerful and Multi-Faceted
Unheard of with traditional landline phone services, VoIP provides multi-faceted, powerful and timesaving services including, but not limited to instant notifications, voice mail, voice recording and transcription.
Are There Risks with VoIP?
Depending on the quality of your internet connection, you may experience disruptions in your phone service or poor quality calls. While these risks are not seen in traditional landline systems, if your internet provider is stable and your connectivity is solid, the cost and timesaving features far outweigh the risks.
To offset any disruptions, if your employees’ internet connections are reliable, you can offer them the option of working from home if your office experiences a loss of connection so you don’t miss many calls if any.
Special Calls May Require Extra Fees
Some unique calls require additional payment, for example, emergency calls or international calls to countries with higher rates. You should inquire about free-minutes packages if you know you’ll be calling overseas often.
Traffic Going Through the Internet May Not Be the Most Secure
If you regularly route unencrypted confidential or critical business information toward the internet, you risk hackers getting that information. Having a virtual private network (VPN) offers relative protection but it isn’t 100% foolproof and shouldn’t be completely relied upon.
Furthermore, unless you configure your wireless security during installation, your network may be exposed to a number of vulnerabilities in the VoIP system.
Overview of VoIP Provider Pricing
There are myriad VoIP providers today, and they may continue to increase in the near future. Taking this into consideration, there is obviously a wide range of pricing structures that vary from one provider to the next.
There are also varying degrees of features, all with their own costs including specific hardware necessary to run the service and additional costs for hosting, installation and maintenance. Some providers detail the total costs before you purchase and install the system. Others offer contract-specific costs based on your needs and the detailed costs involved, including any special add-on services.
Overall, you can find a VoIP provider from as little as $19.99 in case of popular solutions like MightyCall up to $5000 for enterprise tools; however we advise you to check and compare providers and use their trial or demo programs first before making a final decision.
At Precise, we believe responsive customer service is the most important part of business. Our team is trained to be efficient and responsive in every aspect of our operations. Give us a call today to see it in action!