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13 Questions To Ask Before Buying A Cloud-Based Phone System

Questions for Cloud Phone VendorA blessing and curse of modern office technology is the level of integration available between various systems. It’s fantastic when everything works, but it can be real headache when trying to mix and match, or replace technology.

For those who are considering switching from analog to the world of a digital cloud-based phone system, it’s critical to ask each vendor under consideration how their solution will integrate with your existing office environment—beyond just replacing the phones on employees’ desks.

Here are thirteen questions to ask each vendor on your shortlist before making a purchasing decision. (more…)

Don’t Bite! How To Avoid Phishing Scams At Work

Business Phishing EmailWhen was the last time you got an email from a Nigerian prince asking you to help him recover a secret hoard of cash? It sounds like a terrible joke, right? But for many of us, getting one (or more) of these emails was our first experience with what is now known as “phishing”.

As the internet has grown, tools to filter out these kinds of spam have gotten more sophisticated. Unfortunately, so have the methods of phishing used by criminals. More important, the focus of their efforts has migrated from consumers to businesses. In 2017 alone, businesses targeted by phishing attacks lost over half a billion dollars. This year, it’s likely to be even more. (more…)

It’s official! Fortis is now a Google Cloud Partner for G Suite

Google Cloud PartnerFor several years, Fortis has provided a range of G Suite-related services to Northern California businesses.

Because so many of our IT support and VoIP customers were asking for G Suite services, we decided to make it official and become a Google Cloud Partner.

This partner relationship makes Fortis part of an exclusive group. Google has a higher acceptance bar than do most business technology vendors.

Whether you are unfamiliar with G Suite, have a passing familiarity, or know a fair amount, the following Q & A should help. (more…)

14 Reasons Your Growing Business May Need a Real Telephone System

Business Telephone SystemYou started a new business a while back. Your business is starting to really take off. Congratulations!

On the telephone communications front, so far you and your team have been operating successfully from mobile phones and from consumer VoIP accounts like Skype.

At what point does your business need a real telephone system instead of a collection of personally owned phone numbers? Here are some of the factors, which in combination can point to consideration of a change. (more…)

Is Your In-House Phone System On An Inexorable Path to Obsolescence?

Obsolete Business Phone SystemYou may already be all too aware of the fact that there are a number of forces working against your in-house phone system’s long term survival.

Even if your traditional system is working fine today, it’s worth carving out some time to plan your next steps after your in-house business phone system reaches its eventual end of life.

Otherwise, you could end up in a costly crunch when your phone system experiences an untimely demise.

Below are some of the factors that could seriously impair an older phone system or even stop it in its tracks—whether the brand is Inter-Tel, Panasonic, Comdial, Executone, Isoetec, Inter-Tel, Premier, Iwatsu ADIX, NEC, Nortel Norstar, Toshiba, Vodavi or another manufacturer. (more…)

Six Levels Of Two Factor Authentication For Protecting Your Online Accounts

SMS Two Factor AuthenticationStrong passwords remain an important part of business and personal online account protection. However, in some cases, a strong password may not be enough.

Fortunately, there is an option called two factor authentication (2FA) for better safeguarding your online accounts and the online accounts of your employees.

Before we get into details about two factor authentication, here are three pieces of password advice that you’ve probably heard many times before. They bear repeating. (more…)

Traditional PBX or Virtual PBX: What’s Better For Your Business?

Virtual PBX DialpadEverywhere you look nowadays, the digital revolution is overtaking old communications technologies. While social media and smartphone apps get all the press and buzz, core technologies that many businesses have long forgotten about are being replaced as well.

Traditional PBX systems, which for years have been the backbone of business communications architecture, are being challenged by newer virtual PBX cloud phone systems.

While it may seem like “one more thing”, the technology your business uses to communicate plays a significant role in how the business operates, and how customers interact with it.

Businesses that are still utilizing a traditional PBX system may not be aware of the the limitations their hardware is placing on them. They may not realize the potential cost savings they could generate by moving to a virtual PBX. (more…)

SACOG Local Transportation Initiatives

SACOG Transportation InitiativesSACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments), which has a planning area that correlates closely to our market area, is an association of 22 cities and six Sacramento Area counties that works on transportation, land use and regional issues.

As one of its functions, SACOG assists in planning for transit, bicycle networks and clean air.

There are currently 47 similar organizations across California that are members of CALCOG.

As you’ll read below, some of SACOG’s transportation-related initiatives provide opportunities for local nonprofit and for-profit businesses. (more…)

Sacramento Area Business Technology Meetups And User Groups

Sacramento Meetups & User Groups: Business TechFor employees and owners of Sacramento Area businesses, attending a user group meeting or Meetup is a great way to network with peers and learn the latest about technologies that are important to career growth and to the success of a business.

Some user groups are niche in terms of the job role that they attract. Other user groups span a wide range of roles—from application admins to marketers to business owners & executives.

Partly due to technology cycles, a given user group can eventually become challenged with getting enough regular meeting attendees. Some groups go dormant. In fact, we have had to remove several listings since the original version of this post was published.

Other user groups and Meetups have no problem attracting a consistent number of regular meeting attendees. In many cases, the dedicated efforts of the group’s organizers is what drives a sustainable attendance level. (more…)