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What is cloud computing, you ask? How about what it isn't!

Schepisi Communications - Thursday, June 30, 2016

We’ve written many a blog post answering the question you’re asking Google every day: what is cloud computing?

Through our blog posts, we explain to you what the cloud is and how businesses of all sizes can move a portion or the majority of their data to a cloud-based solution.

But what about what it isn’t?

Cloud computing can be just as foggy as its namesake – a cloud – so this week we want to take a look at what the cloud isn’t. Maybe you will learn something! Enjoy.

What is cloud computing?

The cloud is NOT a place

Think of it more as an interconnected technological network. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but it seems to get the message across. Data is stored and accessed through a secure internet connection, so there’s no one specific ‘place’ that you access data from.

Of course, physical cloud servers need to be located some place in the world, but it’s not as clear as saying this server holds your Facebook info while that one holds your Gmail emails.

In fact, it might even help clarify if you think about the cloud as the capability to access files from any device, and from any location, rather than an actual place where all your files go.


The cloud is NOT the same as virtualisation

Virtualisation is the process of creating a virtual version of something. For the purpose of this blog post, that something could be an operating system or storage device.

But wait a minute! That sounds awfully similar to the cloud?

They share a similar concept so it’s not difficult to see where the lines can be blurred. But they’re not quite the same…

Virtualisation is software that manipulates physical infrastructure into virtual. Cloud computing, then, is the resulting service of this action. Think it this way: virtualisation is the process, and cloud computing is the outcome.


The cloud is NOT necessarily for all business data

It’s one thing to consider how a partial move to the cloud might change and improve the way you do business, but it is quite another to pack up and move all your business data to the cloud. Some functions of a business operate better on-site while others might lower costs and maintenance when they are securely stored in the cloud.

It all comes down to each specific business. That’s why we constantly highlight the importance of a tailored and thorough cloud computing strategy; without one, a move to the cloud can become clumsy and haphazard.


The cloud is NOT just for big businesses

Just as we touched on above, the cloud isn’t necessarily the right fit for all businesses (or all data within that business).

But that doesn’t mean small and medium-sized businesses should instantly shut down the notion of the cloud.

While it is true that big businesses and enterprises can reap huge benefits from moving to a cloud-based structure, smaller businesses can, too. It all depends on your needs, budget, and structure; not so much your business size.


The cloud is NOT a fad or trend

Nice try, sceptics, but the cloud isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Here are some stats to blow your socks off:

  • Cloud spend is going up, up, up for two-thirds of enterprises

  • Software revenue is prediction to reach $106 billion this year (that’s a 21% increase on 2015)

  • The percent of IT spending is set to increase from 2% of an enterprise’s total budget in 2013 to up to 10% in 2018

  • By 2020, cloud computing cloud cut energy usage by 38% (that’s HUGE!)

Even though it’s now been around for several years, it’s clear that the modern cloud is far from over. It will continue to develop and mature, acting as an enabler for the new, technologically advanced way to ‘do’ business (some of which mightn’t have even been invented yet!)


Cloud computing explained: book a consultation

Do you want to know how your business could integrate cloud computing? Do you need cloud computing explained in terms of YOUR business and budget?

There’s no better time to take the next step in cloud computing. Book a consultation now to find out how the cloud could help your business.

You might also like to read these related blog posts:

  • Cloud computing security: what you need to know 

  • The growth of cloud computing 

  • A cloud on the horizon: 5 things to look for in a cloud host 


  • Schepisi is a Telstra business partner in Melbourne



    How does expense management control an expanding business?

    Schepisi Communications - Wednesday, June 22, 2016

    The bad news?

    As a business grows (especially a business that’s growing faster than you might’ve anticipated), spend can quickly spiral out of control. Without the proper management, your business will struggle to monitor, assess, and accurately distribute spend.

    The good news?

    There is a solution available to businesses of all sizes – and as such, businesses experiencing rapid growth. That solution is called Tangoe. Read on to learn how an expense management system can help control a growing business.

    expense management
    How many devices do you use for work?

    A single solution

    As businesses expand, management struggles to control expenses. That's where Tangoe comes in. Tangoe is your complete communications management solution that measures, assesses, and records spend at each stage of your communications lifecycle.

    Perhaps you start off as a single-location business but grow to offer offices around the country or globe. You need a robust telcom expense management system supports a growing business through each stage of the communications lifecycle.


    Actionable data and analytics

    With Tangoe, you and your business’s spend becomes visible and actionable: see who spends what and where and why they spend it, and create actionable strategies to gain control over your business’s spend.

    Promote crystal-clear visibility from the get-go and develop techniques that can be used now and as you grow in the future.

     

    Mobile device management

    We couldn’t mention telecommunication expense management without talking about mobiles, could we? Of course not!

    What was originally perceived as a bit of a risky move, BYOD has exploded amongst businesses of all sizes and all around the world. We’re not confined to a desk so why not use a device we already have to increase productivity and turn work into an “anywhere-anytime” model?

    As mobile usage grows in businesses of all sizes (74% of organisations are already or planning to allow employees to bring – and use – their own devices at work), the black and white metaphor becomes more like a dozen shades of grey.

    If a business is going to open its doors to BYOD, it needs a solution looking out for them, by identifying these three main pain points:

    • Overages
    • Data spend
    • Errors

    Global support

    If you manage or are part of an expanding business that is going global, you might be learning just how difficult it is to accurately manage spending, budgeting, and invoicing.

    With a Tangoe expense management system, you can manage spend in all your global locations and offices. It’s that straightforward.


    A paperless process

    Think tax time and maybe even five years ago you were thinking of shoe boxes filled to the brim with receipts from each and every business transaction. Say goodbye to paper receipts with a fully paperless process.

    Everything is stored in a cloud-based solution and accessible whenever you need it. (We’ve got the power of the cloud to thank for that.)

    Tangoe cloud-based software

    Simplified reporting

    Surely you know by now how draining the process of reporting can be. Not anymore, though!

    You can say goodbye to spreadsheets and hello to fully automated lifecycle expenses across every aspect of business spend.

    Global telecom expenses may include:

    • Personal assets and devices
    • Phone bills
    • Device repair or replacement
    • Billing errors
    • Data usage

    Analytics

    With near-instant analytics, you can, at a glance, detect your business’s current spending situation. Identify the pain points by comparing month-to-month spend, categorised by device, user, or department.


    What do people want from their expense manager?

    Aberdeen Group conducted a survey and found the top-value features of an expense manager included:

    • Visibility and control
    • Inventory tracking
    • Efficient invoice processing
    • The ability to reduce costs

    These four features actually form a kind of pathway, where the next is dependent on the previous. Tangoe offers visibility in order for managers or financial officers to identify cost-saving opportunities.

    Its aim is to make disputing invoices, allocating costs, and paying bills simple. By accurately and efficiently detecting errors or overspend, you can create actionable plans to help save your business telco spend in the future.


    Interested in a Tangoe expense management solution for your business?

    Here’s what you can do:

    1. Read our blog post, 10 quick tips about our expense management system

    2. Read more about Tangoe expense management from Schepisi

    3. Contact Schepisi now to learn more about Tangoe or to organise a meeting

    Schepisi is a Telstra business partner in Melbourne




    Choose a Mitel business phone system to solve these communication blunders

    Schepisi Communications - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    Communication is one of those elements of human nature that always seems to challenge us.

    Whether it’s misreading a text message, playing phone tag by constantly missing calls, or wasting time trying to conduct a meeting, clear communication is a crucial part of any business. 

    The following communication blunders can be absolved with a robust business phone system than can handle even the most demanding telco needs. Today, we’re focusing on the Mitel phone system.

    Mitel business phone system blog post

    Blunder #1: you miss too many messages

    No matter what we do, there will always be a time where we step out of the office or miss a phone call when we are in a meeting – and that’s OK.

    What’s crucial, though, is that messages do not get lost in a sea of other tasks; rather they’re accessed and actioned in a timely manner.

    If messages are slipping through the cracks you need a unified communications solution.

    A Mitel business solution can iron out the bumps when it comes to accessing and addressing missed messages through tactics like mobile forwarding or voicemail to email capabilities.


    Blunder #2: your business doesn’t communiacate properly

    Forget about your leads and prospects for a moment, and think instead about your own team:

    • How many departments are there?

    • Do walls, suburbs, or oceans separate you?

    • How often are you communicating with different teams?

    • How often should you be communicating with these people?

    Communication problems can often not be solved externally until you address internal issues first.


    Blunder #3: remote workers feel disconnected

    Today’s technological capabilities allow workers more freedom when it comes to the way they work. One of our favourite phrases captures this sentiment perfectly:


    Work is a thing you do, not a place you go.


    Flexibility in the workplace can help create a more diverse, wide spanning, and happy group of employees.

    But, when poor telecommunications are put in place, remote workers can begin to feel isolated from their counterparts in the office.

    Communication between colleagues lessens; the dynamic element of constant, quality communication seems to have diminished. This results in lower productivity throughout your whole team, but most noticeably, through your remote or home workers.


    Blunder #4: an older system lacks functionality

    When you lack functionality, you’re missing out on ways to maximise business communication.

    Companies putting up with outdated phone systems mightn’t realise how their business might transform with an updated and modernised phone system.

    And it can be hard to shift a stalwart opinion.

    But an outdated phone system:

    • Can pose a security threat

    • Make a company look ‘out-of-touch’

    • Is expensive to maintain

    • Offers limited functionality

    (This blog post has more details on how an outdated business phone system is failing your business)

    Combine the hindrances above and you can’t be too surprised to learn that business communication is suffering.

     

    Blunder #5: meetings become more and more unproductive

    Ask any employee their top five pet peeves at work and no doubt the majority will name wasteful meetings in there.

    While you feel a meeting is important to conduct on a periodic basis, you’re starting to feel that they are taking up too much time and not achieving as much as you’d like.

    A streamlined communications network provides a myriad of ways in which teams, employees, and managers can get in touch. Unified communications combines the best communications methods into one system, so your employees can choose to conduct a meeting in their preferred manner.

    A business phone system can replace an in-person meeting

    Quick weekly catch up to discuss current projects?

    A Mitel business phone system can control a conference call between the marketing team.


    Want to meet with a potential lead, but they’re overseas or interstate?

    Of course business travel is not always avoidable, but a more cost-efficient (and time-saving) solution in addition to conference calls includes video conferencing.


    How do Mitel phones and Schepisi service stand out?

    Beyond creating and deploying a seamless business telecommunications system, Schepisi clients are rewarded with the bonus of what we call an extra layer of service – we know you’re busy, which is why we provide exceptional service whenever you need it.

    That means your business can enjoy hassle-free communications from a Mitel phone system combined with steadfast support from Schepisi.


    Improve communication with a Mitel business phone system, managed by Schepisi

    A well-engineered business phone system will transform an office that suffers from poor communication into an interconnected business that joins workers, leads, clients, partners, and more.

    If you’re tired of poor telecommunications holding your business back, let’s discuss a Mitel business phone system. Click here to get in touch with a Schepisi expert today.

    Schepisi is a Telstra business partner in Melbourne




    Avoid these 5 VoIP mistakes when searching for a VoIP provider

    Schepisi Communications - Wednesday, June 08, 2016

    VoIP helps small and large businesses alike by reducing the cost of maintaining on-premise hardware as well as line rental.

    By moving voice communication away from the traditional mode and towards a more modernised structure, VoIP can save a business money while still offering it high-quality voice communication.

    There are, however, some common VoIP mistakes we see popping up again and again when proper research is skipped and education takes a backseat. Below, we’ve outlined some VoIP mistakes you might be making as you consider making the switch to VoIP. Is your VoIP provider offering you complete transparency and realistic solutions?

    Read on and avoid these blunders!

    VoIP providers Melbourne, Australia

    1. Failing to understand VoIP technology

    While VoIP delivers a similar outcome as a landline telephone system, its technology is comparable. Failing to understand the new technology your business might soon be implementing sets you back immediately. Confusing jargon from your VoIP provider doesn’t make the process any easier.

    Insufficient technology can reverse the effects of VoIP, where traffic becomes congested, and calls are improperly managed.

    The bottom line is, you’re not benefitting from VoIP’s full potential when you don’t fully understand VoIP technology.


    2. Not asking for help from the experts

    Seeking help when you need it is the best way to avoid common VoIP pitfalls such as security flaws or deployment issues.

    Schepisi is a VoIP provider that acts as your extra layer of service, working at all times to ensure your VoIP system is at its optimum. VoIP is not a one-size-fits-all system, so it’s imperative that you seek the right advice and the right VoIP solution for your business’s communication system.

    Understanding and choosing appropriate add-ons

    This is the part where you start to customise your VoIP program by picking all the additional features you’ll need to create a flawless communications network. VoIP add-ons include:

    • Teleconferencing

    • Voicemail

    • Call waiting

    • Call forwarding

    • SMS

    • Call screening

    • Do-not disturb

    … and so much more!


    3. Not doing your research

    Also known as ‘picking the first product you find’, poorly researched communications tools is a recipe for disaster. There’s no doubt there are so many options available, but that’s not the point.

    The point is choosing the tool that works best for your business, your employees, your structure, and your budget.

    Using a low-bandwidth internet connection

    VoIP relies on the internet to transfer data packages from handsets – so you will struggle to rely on a low-grade internet connection for both business internet usage and VoIP usage. A less-than-reputable salesperson will tell you anything to clinch the deal, but understand that with an extra service using up your internet, you’ll come to rely on larger bandwidth.


    4. Failing to prioritise security

    Security is time and time again noted as a top priority of IT professionals, so why should a VoIP system be any different?

    No matter the technology, a business (and in particular a business’s IT team) needs to understand the risk and vulnerabilities. Rather than be afraid and turn a blind eye, we must vigilantly promote ongoing safety, security, and privacy, while reducing system vulnerability.

    Through a VoIP system, heightened security is achieved by:

    • Strong authentication

    • Server firewalls

    • Antimalware

    • Keeping your system updated

    • Strong passwords to access voicemail


    5. Foregoing a disaster recovery plan

    Just as we emphasise a disaster recovery plan for cloud computing, the same principle is necessary throughout other tech facets of business.

    VoIP is a part of your communications network, so it needs to be a part of your disaster recovery plan and preparation. Otherwise, you’ll only snap into action once data has been breached or lost; the phrase “too little, too late” comes to mind now.

    In case of a disaster, how will your IT team work to get communication up and running again? Adequate preparation before a disaster takes place allows your business to get back on its feet quicker.


    Make the switch to VoIP with a qualified VoIP provider

    If you’ve been considering the switch to VoIP for your business but aren’t quite sure where to begin, start here.

    Get in touch with a VoIP provider like Schepisi and let’s find out more about your current business situation.

    Click here to fill in our contact form, or call us today on 1300 66 44 22. With offices in most Australian capital cities, we’re here to help your business make the switch to VoIP, no matter your location!

    Schepisi is a Telstra business partner in Melbourne




    The growth of cloud computing

    Schepisi Communications - Thursday, June 02, 2016

    This week, we take a look back at the growth of cloud computing. We reflect briefly on its origins – as far back in the ‘60s – but take a closer look at some impressive statistics from 2000 onwards.

    We’re also sharing some statistics and facts about cloud computing in Australia, Europe, and the United States. Prepare to be impressed by the girth of the cloud!

    Growth of cloud computing

    1950s and ’60s: the origin of the concept of the cloud

    The earliest record we have of the concept of cloud computing dates all the way back to the 50s and 60s – can you believe that?

    At the time it wasn’t referred to as the cloud (this came over 30 years later), but in the 1950s we spoke about ‘time-sharing’ – believed to be the “underlying concept of cloud computing” while in 1969 JCR Licklider spoke about an “extended computer network”.

    In these days, though, these words were more concepts – we did not have technology that provided adequate bandwidth or capacity to support a cloud computing network. That wouldn’t come until the late ‘90s.


    1997: cloud computing gets its name

    It’s widely believed that the term cloud computing was first used in a scholarly setting in a lecture presented by Ramnath Chellappa in Dallas in 1997.


    1999-early 2000s: the cloud is in its infancy

    • Salesforce.com is created in a small apartment in San Francisco

    • The dot-com bubble lasted from 1997 to 2000, peaking on the 10th March 2000 before the bubble burst and stocks plummeted

    • Amazon weathered the storm and created its web-based retail services in 2002

    Cloud computing is now segmented into three general categories:

    • Software as a Service (SaaS)

    • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    • Infrastructure as a Service (Saas)


    Cloud computing statistics: 2015 onwards

    Now, some more recent cloud computing stats that will knock your socks off!


    Australia

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its first survey of cloud computing in Australia last year. Some key takeaways included:

    • Almost one in five businesses were using paid cloud services

    • More than 40% of businesses in information and technology industries used cloud computing services to streamline business

    • It is a shame to read that the most common reason for cloud resistance was “insufficient knowledge” of cloud services.

    • Respondents noted reduction in IT costs, flexibility, and increased productivity as three key benefits, and the most popular benefit was “simplicity of deployment of cloud-based solutions”.

    Australia is one of the leading adopters of cloud computing – in fact, it’s predicted our cloud spend will reach $800 million by 2019.


    Europe

    You might be surprised to learn that Finland is the leading country for cloud computing in Europe.

    According to data cited in this article, one in every two enterprises uses some form of cloud computing.

    That means, therefore, that 50% of enterprise businesses in Finland use the cloud. This is more than three times Europe’s average of 19%.

    The main uses of cloud computing in Europe, according to the same data, include:

    • Information and communication

    • Professional and technical activities

    • Administrative and support services

    • Real estate

    • Electricity, gas, and water supply

    Security concerns are the main factor when it comes to cloud resistance.

    Finland is the leading cloud computing country in Europe
    Finland is the leading European country for cloud computing.


    United States

    • By 2013, cloud had become mainstream. More than half of US businesses were now using some form of cloud computing for IT.

    • The percentage of small businesses engaging cloud computing services is set to more than double by 2020, from 37% to almost 80%.

    • In a survey published in February this year, 90% of respondents said their enterprise companies plan to increase or maintain their cloud computing budgets.


    Now what?

    It’s astonishing to learn how old the concept of cloud computing really is. Fast-forward to this millennium, and the rapid expansion of the cloud tells us that it’s not going anywhere. Is your business ready to get its head in the clouds? 

    Click the button below to book a cloud computing consultation with the Telstra cloud experts at Schepisi.


    Schepisi is a Telstra business partner in Melbourne




    Ditch your phone bill and switch to VoIP for business

    Schepisi Communications - Thursday, May 26, 2016

    What is VoIP?

    If by now you haven’t heard of VoIP or don’t know what it is, may we kindly remind you to every once in a while come out from that rock you’ve been living under? All jokes aside, you can read this blog post to learn the basics of VoIP.

    VoIP is not the once-problematic technology solution it once was; advances in solutions, hardware, and software have people cutting the cord to their landline phone systems and moving to a streamlined VoIP system for business.

    Support remote and home workers with VoIP

    Work from home but stay in touch with the office thanks to VoIP.


    Before we talk business: what are some of the VoIP benefits for personal or home usage?

    For homeowners and personal usage, VoIP bridges the gap between those who want to ditch their traditional home phone system but do not want to rely solely on their smartphones for phone calls.

    VoIP can prove to be an affordable, efficient, practical replacement to traditional phone lines in your home.

    At home, we make fewer landline calls than ever before, so many people are choosing to ditch the line rental cost and opt for a replacement system that will save them lots of money!


    Why should my business consider the switch? VoIP benefits

    There are a whole heap of benefits associated with VoIP, one of which we’ve referred to in the title of this post: ditch the line rental cost and immediately begin saving on your phone bills.

    Further advantages that make VoIP an attractive alternative to business include:

    • Many of the standard and deluxe features available with a traditional phone system are available with VoIP, too

    • VoIP offers a scalable system which means you’re never paying for more than you need

    • Voice quality is virtually indistinguishable from traditional landlines

    • Most companies allow emergency calls via VoIP

    • VoIP is easy to set up and easy to use

    • VoIP accommodates remote and home workers, so the office is wherever you need it to be

    Prehistoric phones

    It’s the tale that never seems to end: businesses let their phone systems get older and older to a point that when they need a replacement or repair, parts are no longer manufactured or repair is just far too costly. Don’t let an outdated phone system hold your business back!


    Tell me more about switching to VoIP for business…

    In many cases, your VoIP provider will be able to transfer your existing landline phone number over to your new VoIP business system. This is great for businesses that have familiar or recognisable phone numbers.

    Then, we’ll beef up your VoIP packages with all the features your business and its employees need, like call waiting, voicemail, caller ID, call transfers, and more.

    First- vs. second-generation VoIP systems

    This terminology distinguishes “first-generation” VoIP packages that provide hardware – like a phone system – to complete your VoIP communication line.

    The “second-gen” of VoIP eliminates this additional hardware and instead relies directly on a connection to your computer (often associated with the term “softphone”.)

    For some businesses, a second-gen VoIP system is great for remote workers or those who work often from home. No additional hardware is required for these people, so set-up can be quite simple.

    The right option for you is based around how you want and need to use your phones and how your staff is dispersed.


    VoIP in Australia: a top-quality solution for an affordable cost

    Just like the internet has evolved from painfully slow dial-up to lightening-fast speeds, so too has VoIP technology. VoIP allows businesses to confidently use a more efficient and affordable communications tool to reduce their spend.

    Over time, challenges have diminished and businesses of all sizes right around Australia count VoIP as a essential business communication system.

    If you’ve got any specific questions or concerns involved with moving your business’s phone system from landline to VoIP anywhere in Australia, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

    Telstra business partner

    Solve these communication challenges with Lifesize Video Conferencing

    Schepisi Communications - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    Video conferencing hasn’t been called “the most in-demand application of the new information age” for nothing!

    What was once an experimental communications tool has exploded in businesses the world over.

    Why?

    Because communication – no matter its catalyst – is the one aspect of business that will never change. We all need it, and we always will.

    Video conferencing is just a newer mode of business communication that allows for real-time collaboration, conversation, and exchange.

    We have already covered the benefits of video conferencing in this blog post, but this week, we look at five communication challenges video conferencing will solve. Enjoy!

    Lifesize Video Conferencing for business

    Video conferencing works for large meetings and catch-ups

    Conference calls might be OK for two or three participants, but once that number creeps up any further, you’re going to struggle with audio lags, talking over others, and the dreaded confusion commonly known as “Who-on-earth-is-speaking-right-now?”

    Video conferencing literally puts a face to a name, and with no awkward delays, you can enjoy exceptional sound quality and crisp audio, whether you’re talking to two or 20 other people!


    Bridge the gap between office workers and remote workers

    Now more than ever, thanks to technology, we’re privy to a whole slew of alternative opportunities than turning up to the office every day and working between 9am and 5pm.

    Flexible working hours, remote workers, and working from home are now viable options in many businesses thanks to technology.

    There are simply more and easier ways to stay in touch with the office and work on projects, documents, and presentations without being chained to a desk.

    (This Huff Post piece sums it up really nicely: the author explains that while using video conferencing at work, has “developed strong bonds with colleagues in a short amount of time”, explaining that meeting “wives, husbands, kids, and pets” is not awkward; rather, “in under a month, we’re sharing jokes and having conversations about the important people and things in their lives”. A great sentiment.)


    The choice to reduce strain on in-house IT

    Lifesize video conferencing provides both on-premise and cloud-based video conferencing solutions to business, so depending on your needs, infrastructure, and budget, you’ve got the choice.

    Larger businesses – with higher communication budgets and even perhaps an in-house IT team opt to keep hardware on-site (thus taking responsibility for maintenance, too) while smaller businesses or those with diverse work environments, including remote and home workers, choose Lifesize video conferencing in the cloud.

    There’s no right or wrong choice here, and you can find out more information on cloud vs. on-premise video conferencing solutions in this blog post.


    The ever-present security fears

    Ask almost any manager, business owner, or CEO the main fear of technology and their answer will be security.

    And yes, maybe a decade ago, you could have gotten away with security as an excuse to turn away from video conferencing (particularly cloud video conferencing).

    But today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a cloud-based service that doesn’t offer password protection, authentication emails, and secure encryption during a both a chat and a video conversation.


    Video conferencing supports and embraces BYOD

    BYOD, as CC&N points out, is no flash in the pan. It’s growing not only in businesses of all sizes around the world, but in schools and universities, too, and it’s not set to slow down anytime soon!

    BYOD combined with video conferencing (accessible on smartphones and tablets) strengthens the communications cycle, enhancing connectivity and collaboration in your business and amongst your employees.


    Diagnosing communication challenges

    Until you take an outsider’s point of view, you might be somewhat oblivious to the communication challenges your business and its employees are currently facing.

    That’s where Schepisi comes in – we can analyse your current situation and determine areas where improvement is needed, and best of all, can be achieved.

    Video conferencing solves communication challenges

    Video conferencing Melbourne and Australia

    Video conferencing has become an integral cog in the wheel of business communication (both internally and externally), so it’s important to get the right information from the start. Learn more about video conferencing from Melbourne’s Schepisi Communications. With offices all around Australia, we’re you're go-to Lifesize partner for your business’s video conferencing solutions.

    Where to begin? Reach out. Fill in this contact form to get in touch, or call us today: 1300 66 44 22.

    Schepisi is an Australian Telstra Business Partner

    6 ways an outdated business phone system is failing your business

    Schepisi Communications - Friday, May 06, 2016

    We’re not the first ones to say that when a business refuses to move forward along with technology (whether by choice or not), they risk falling behind, alienating customers and potential customers, and wasting money on maintaining old equipment.

    This week we introduce six ways an outdated phone system is failing your business. Are you victim to one (or more!) of the points below? Perhaps it’s time to start the conversation and look at upgrading a prehistoric business phone system!

    update your business phone system

    1. Replacement and repair becomes more costly

    As traditional business phone systems become older, their replacement and repair costs soar. Older parts may no longer be available, costing you more not only in money, but in time wasted, too.

    Updated (and more modern) business phone solutions like VoIP involve no expensive hardware to maintain.

    These up-to-date communication models rely on the cloud, removing the cost and hassle of maintaining hardware on-site (reducing both cost and labour). Big tick.


    2. Your business risks alienating the modern generations

    And no, we don’t mean millennials.

    Gen X and Baby Boomers have adapted quickly to the plethora of communication models out there, including Skype, WhatsApp, and Facetime, to name just a few. They’ve moved beyond traditional landlines (one in five Australians don’t reconnect their home phone when they move house, this survey found), and expect the businesses they choose to work with or employ services will be doing the same.  

    Our smartphones are seldom further than arm’s length and an outdated telecommunication system that can’t handle 21st century requests from customers quickly exposes itself in a business.


    3. Costly international communication

    Depending on the nature of your business, you and your employees might be making dozens of international calls a day (including conference calls).

    International charges are typically lower with a VoIP system, so if your business frequently makes international and long-distance calls, the move to VoIP could save you money drastically.

    (Oh, and businesses looking to create a complete communications network are benefiting from Lifesize Video Conferencing)


    4. Is planning an office move becoming more painful than it should?

    One of the best times to update an old business phone system is during the transition from one office space to another.

    Planning to transfer existing phone system hardware brings about more trouble than it’s worth, which is why an office move has fast become a common time that a business opts to move to a newer, more adaptable, and more modern phone system.

    If you’re in the process of planning (or even considering) an office move, think carefully about your current phone system – will an office move be the push you need to upgrade and/or move to VoIP?


    5. Growing pains

    An older business phone system doesn’t have the capacity or scope to grow as your business grows.

    VoIP business phone systems are easily scalable and grow with your business and staff, so you’re using as much as you need (but no more).


    6. Limited functionality strains your business’s communication

    An outdated phone system doesn’t necessarily mean one that is broken or damaged beyond repair.

    While elements of the system may still work perfectly fine, it is the additional functionality (like call forwarding and transparency that lets you analyse how your business and employees use your phones) that keeps a business’s communication methods up to scratch.


    Let’s start the conversation

    Upgrading a business phone system needn’t be a daunting task.

    Schepisi’s team of experts excel at causing as little disruption as possible to your business when you make the decision to upgrade your business phone system.

    Let’s talk more about your current situation, the pain points you face, and how Schepisi can help. Fill in this form or call today: 1300 66 44 22.

    Schepisi is a Telstra business partner in Melbourne





    Crucial cloud computing skills for 2016 (and beyond)

    Schepisi Communications - Friday, April 29, 2016

    $124k is the median advertised salary for cloud computing professionals in 2016.

    What a way to open a blog post about the cloud computing skills IT pros need to keep up with the rest of the world!

    As the cloud grows in leaps and bounds throughout companies of all sizes, you’d be hard-pressed to find an IT professional lagging behind when it comes to cloud skills – they simply can’t afford to do that!

    This week we look at some of the skills and specialities of our cloud experts.

    Cloud computing skills

    System automation

    A highly sought after cloud computing skill is the ability to streamline manual processes to reduce capital costs without compromising performance. That goal is straightforward enough, right? But it takes skills to execute it.

    As you are probably familiar, the cloud’s elastic nature means it can be scaled up and down exactly as it’s needed, and it is this feature – plus an IT professional’s skills – that help unlock the benefits of cloud computing to clients!


    Cloud security

    Always a biggie and always a point of concern for managers and CEOs, the skills needed by IT professionals offer safety and security when it comes to sensitive business data. Below we cover two of the most common and important layers of cloud security.

    As the cloud continues to grow, so too do the applications to which it can be applied. More applications, therefore, means more security (and more security types).

    Encryption security

    Beyond passwords and the other security measures that are client-dependant, cloud encryption is an important skill that provides additional security to business data. A skilled IT professional must be able to advise on the type of data that is encrypted and educate clients on the importance of encryption.

    Firewalls

    IT professionals must be able to provide advice and recommendations for cloud-based firewalls as well as other best practices akin to a certain client’s circumstances.  Firewalls aren’t the answer to every cloud security question, so it’s about providing the right security solutions for each individual client.

    (Oh, and you’ve also got to understand the risks associated with firewalls, too, providing clients the best and most relevant advice.)


    Cloud “architect” or “engineer”

    These two role titles are often used interchangeably, which is why we’ve put them together.

    No, a cloud architect or engineer isn’t rearranging clouds in the sky; they’re creating comprehensive and detailed initiatives that ensure a client’s cloud is scalable, secure, cost-efficient, flexible, and sustainable.

    Basically, their job is to see that the initial cloud strategy comes to life through implementation and development of cloud computing infrastructure.

    They’re the go-to for:

    • Design

    • Planning

    • Management

    • Support

    Suffice to say, their skills are an integral part of a business’s cloud solution!


    Prepared for growth

    Larger and more applications, larger servers, bigger Big Data, and more: for the cloud, the only way is up!

    IT professionals need to consistently sharpen and develop their skills, keeping up with the latest trends, security measures, and more. The cloud waits for no one, which is why the best IT and cloud consultants are prepared for change and growth and can adapt and react appropriately to new obstacles.


    The future of the cloud

    So no, a cloud computing professional isn’t just “the IT guy or girl”; an IT pro wears many different hats, and the cloud has grown to be one of the biggest. Cloud computing isn’t slowing down across all business types and as a result the cloud pros can’t afford to, either.

    Speaking of pros, if you’ve got any questions about the Telstra cloud or want to set up a cloud computing consultation, get in touch with a Schepisi expert today.

    Schepisi is a Telstra business partner in Melbourne




    Industry buzzword: what is Unified Communications (UC)?

    Schepisi Communications - Thursday, April 21, 2016

    Sounds straightforward enough: communications that are unified.

    Multi-location businesses with offices and teams in major capital cities around the world as well as businesses made up of team of just five or 10 employees all rely on one major key to keep them running: communication.

    Whether you’re holding bi-weekly meetings with the teams in Paris and San Francisco or making on-the-fly mobile phone calls to an employee working from home, communication keeps a business running smoothly.

    This week, we examine the notion of Unified Communications. It’s a business buzzword and while many business buzzwords are simply confusing jargon or clichés, Unified Communications can take your business to the next level (there’s one of those cheesy clichés), once you’ve wrapped your head around it (and there’s another, just for good measure!)

    Unified Communications (UC)

    Components that make up a communications web

    Some may assume that Unified Communications is a single product (despite its name), but in fact the system is made up of a variety of communication tools, each with their own specific features and benefits. Below we list the features of different parts of a communications web.

    Instant communication

    These days, most communication is instant. And in fact, we’ve come to rely so badly on instant communication that even a few hours for a response to an email or Facebook seems far too long.

    When was the last time you sent a letter in the mail? Maybe you sent cards at Christmastime, but beyond that, it’s been a while! We no longer need to wait days (or weeks) to communicate, thanks to technology.

    Examples of instant communication include instant messaging online (or even text messages). Even an email can be (somewhat) instant, depending on how soon a recipient reads and replies.

    Audio communication

    Instantly communicate with clients and employees alike using a tool that prioritises audio communication, like a business phone system, VoIP system, or smartphone.

    A preferred method of communication, audio provides clarity to both parties (something that sometimes gets lost during online chats or emails).

    Audio and video magic = video conferencing

    When you’re struggling to communicate using words typed on a keyboard, unleash the power of video conferencing. Combine audio and video to bring meetings and catch-ups to life. You can also share documents, conduct presentations, and record meetings for record purposes or future referencing.

    Video conferencing is the ultimate business communications tool that combines senses to create a dynamic communication medium.

    Information exchange and data sharing

    Typically, how many emails do you send in a day?

    And of those, how many have documents, spreadsheets, images, videos, or links attached?

    A lot, I’d bet.

    Each time you send a client an email asking them to approve a word document or send a spreadsheet to your team asking them to create their own tabs to collaborate, you’re exchanging information and sharing data.

    This is possibly one of the most important parts of your communications network, allowing you to provide and receive data and information instantly.

    Internet services

    This one can actually blanket over a number of tools we’ve already been over:

    • VoIP: audio communication tool that uses the internet (rather than a phone line)

    • Instant messenger: online chat functionality that relies on written (or rather, typed) conversations

    • Video conferencing: using Lifesize Cloud video conferencing, you can connect from any device

    That is, any tool that uses the internet to facilitate written, audio, or visual communication (or a combination of these).

    Individual and direct communications

    Think of the quickest way you could get in touch with anyone, be it your mum, your best friend, or your boss.

    Did you think of your smartphone? So did we.

    It’s one of the most direct ways to reach an individual, regardless of whether it’s a pre-organised weekly phone meeting or a quick call to let someone know you are running late. Smartphones for business have become increasingly popular over the last five years as BYOD continues to grow in businesses of all sizes.

    You can read more about the BYOD evolution in this blog post.


    Tangible benefits of Unified Communication solutions

    Unified Communications solutions are highly sought after methods for large businesses with team members (and/or clients) spread across different cities or countries, and with employees who frequently travel, work from home, or work remotely.

    Such a diverse workforce needs many communications tools to stay connected. A Unified Communications solution offers these bigger businesses the tangible benefits to choose from a number of tools to stay in touch (and some to instantly get in touch) with their team, no matter their location.

    If you think your business could benefit from a Unified Communications solution, please contact Schepisi. Schepisi’s extra layer of management on the Telstra network – Australia’s fastest network – creates a diverse, reliable, and solid communications web. Contact a Schepisi expert today.

    Schepisi is a Telstra business partner in Melbourne




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