Benefits of VoIP for Small Businesses

a person using a phone at a desk

What is VoIP?

VoIP Stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is a technology that allows you to make voice telephone calls over your broadband internet connection. The technology has only been around for about 20 years, but it has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1995.

The first products were wrought with sound quality and technical issues. As the technology developed from computer-to-computer calls to computer-to-phone to phone-to-computer and eventually phone-to-phone, telephone companies began to take notice and installed internet protocol capabilities to their switches.

The reliability and quality of the calls grew to a point that VoIP was accepted as a viable option to replace traditional phone lines. As broadband internet connections became readily available, usage skyrocketed.

Benefits of VoIP for the Office

Installing a VoIP system in your office is a great idea. Utilizing the technology in an office setting just makes sense. Here are some of the benefits of VoIP for small businesses.

  1. If you currently have a broadband connection in your office, you are able to use your existing network for the phone system. There is no need to run new phone or electrical cords for a secondary system.
  2. A VoIP system will save on labor costs and increase productivity. By using a virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) you can skip the receptionist. Allowing the automated software to direct calls, provide information and take messages. The mobility of many systems allows you to plug your phone into any broadband connection. Then, receive  calls on the same number even when you are at home or out-of-town on business.
  3. VoIP systems scale easily. As your business grows, your phone system will grow with you. Through allowing you to easily add lines and features to fit your needs.

If you have any questions about VoIP systems or how installing one in your office would benefit your business, please contact Bluewater Technologies. Our expert staff is ready with the answers you need to make an informed decision for your business communications needs.

Planning Ahead for Disaster Recovery


Successful disaster recovery depends on having a plan in place before things go wrong. A reliable managed service provider (MSP) can greatly improve your chances of avoiding data loss.

Disaster scenarios include physical damage, such as fire, flood, or burglary, as well as malware and hardware failure. The best preparation for these situations is ongoing offsite backup, saving all your information on a daily or hourly basis to a remote location.

If you do lose data, you want to get back up and running as fast as possible. Downtime equals lost business. Your MSP should not only have a good backup but be ready to restore your systems rapidly.

Local backup to a disk drive offers some protection, but it’s not enough by itself. Anything that damages your computer can also damage the backup drive sitting nearby. You need to have backup at a safe distance from your place of business.

A tested recovery plan gives the greatest confidence. Conducting tests requires extra time and hardware, but if you need to bring risk to the lowest possible level, regular tests are worth it.

You need to choose a provider that will safeguard your data’s confidentiality. It needs to offer secure transmission and secure storage. You need a trustworthy provider with high availability. If a storm does serious damage to your office, you want to be confident that it hasn’t also taken your backup offline.

Regular review of the recovery plan is necessary to make sure it covers all systems. Hardware changes frequently even in small operations, and it’s important to make sure that you’ve protected every machine that holds essential data.

To learn about our disaster recovery services, please contact us.

Choosing the Right SMB IT Support

a group of business people standing in front of a window

Having good small business it support and solutions is important if you want to ensure that your company’s information technology needs are satisfactorily met. But with all the SMB IT support providers out there, picking the one for the job can sometimes be difficult.

So how do you choose a solutions provider for your business operations?

Understand What Your Business Really Needs

One important matter to note of when choosing an IT solutions provider is that small businesses have different needs compared to larger companies. For instance, a small online store might not need to use a dedicated server to handle transactions. Hosting services, such as Google Drive, are often enough to keep tabs on the transactions coming through the store. This in turn, can cut down greatly on the amount of IT solutions needed.

However, as this PR Web article says, you need to think broadly when looking into your business’ particular information technology needs. Ask yourself what kind of tasks have to be accomplished for business operations. Determine which tasks need IT support and which ones can be managed even without it. You also need to determine whether your business operations might be at risk with your current IT setup. From there, you will be able to map out a comprehensive IT support plan.

Looking For an IT Support Provider

Price is often one of the first considerations made by companies when looking for small business IT support and solutions provider. After all, these companies often don’t have a lot of money to spend. However, one mistake to avoid here is going with a provider simply because they have the lowest offer. Remember that you are putting your business’ IT capability on the line here. Go over the IT plan you have prepared and see which provider is able to give everything you need for a fairly reasonable price.

Sufficient tech support is also an important consideration when choosing an IT solutions provider. Blue Derkin gives a rundown of important questions to ask when checking a provider’s tech support capability:

“When my site, for some unknown reason, goes down, can I call up and get a real, live person on the phone? And, more than that, can they find out what’s wrong and fix it, or at least tell me what I need to do to get my site back online? Before going with a host look into their reputation for customer support. See what kinds of different ways you can contact them when you need support – email, toll-free phone, chat, and so on. Are they staffed 24/7? Do they outsource support?”

Working with a SMB IT Support Provider

When working with your chosen IT provider, keep in mind that they still have their limitations. For instance, the tech they provide might not be able to meet demands higher than what has initially agreed upon. Take this into consideration when making an assessment of the provider’s performance. It would also be a good idea for you to discuss scalability options early with them, so that these can be implemented when needed.

Contact us today to learn more about small business IT support and solutions providers.

The Crucial Elements of an MSP

a man in glasses is holding up a computer

What are the crucial elements of an MSP? What should be included in your services provider package? Will it offer security in times of a disaster, or anytime?

Here are some ways an effective Managed Service Provider can help your business thrive and take the worry out of networking and security issues.

Staff and Talent Acquisition

An MSP takes current staff and has them do what they do best, while combining it with the best outsourced agents for specific IT tasks. These can come from a variety of sources. But it still keeps the process under the same roof by calling on specialists from within or without, whenever they are needed the most.

Handles networking and security issues

The complications of networking and keeping your network and servers secure can be immense. Having a managed services provider that takes time and care to ensure it all runs efficiently and limits down time is essential to the smooth operation of a business.

Cloud service solutions

A good MSP also provides the best cloud service and integrates all your systems to work with your cloud servers. Cloud storage and maintenance is one of the most important things a business can do to allow for natural disasters, have a reliable backup system, and be able to access files from any location. Choose a managed services provider who understand how things work in the cloud.

IT support and management

It is important to be able to get in touch with someone in the event of a crisis. Having all your systems in one place often makes this process simpler and easier to manage. If you do not have to call different places to get the job done, it will also happen faster.

Disaster recovery plans

Having a disaster recovery plan is essential to the smooth continuity of your business in the event of a disaster. Plan today by having an MSP who knows how to handle this. Additionally, how to design a plan that will work in the event of a crisis.

When looking for the best managed services provider (MSP), it is important that you find one that can handle the above elements when you need them. Networking, security, and cloud-based services. As well as disaster and recovery plans are all essential to the smooth operation of a business. Having local IT representatives, or at least ones who can respond quickly to any breaches in security or other issues, will help provide a sense of security in the day-to-day routines of your business.

If you need advice on how this applies to your business, or want to consult with us about what we can offer as a managed services provider, contact us.