Archive for January, 2012

Your email is your business life-line for communications to your clients

Small, medium and large businesses are keeping closer tabs on expenses today. Unexpected costs wreak havoc on even large budgets. Many enterprises are opting for the convenience and predictability of email hosting for business.

By using Dataglide’s Kerio Connect, businesses don’t need to concern themselves with periodic maintenance and management tasks. At the same time, they enjoy a hosted Microsoft Exchange type service, eliminating the cost of upfront licensing for the products and hardware upgrades.

One of the major benefits of using Dataglide Kerio Connect is its hosted email and hosted email archiving. Clients can rely on its security advantages for encrypting and digitally signing sensitive internal emails. Companies using this kind of security layering are less exposed to outside hacking and surveillance by competitors.

Hosted email archiving gives companies instant access to past correspondence filed in a logical and easy to use system of folders and synced calendars. Using Dataglide’s email hosting for business means office staff and mobile personnel stay in touch and on the same page hour by hour without waiting for an on-site server’s nightly updating.
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1. Lower CAPEX Costs: Buying a traditional phone system is like buying a new car, it significantly depreciates the day you place it in service. Plus, you own a piece of equipment that you’ll have to one day replace. You can put that money to better use by spending less up- front by intstalling a VoIP Hosted PBX system.

2. A VoIP Hosted PBX is Dynamically Scalable: Up-size and Down-size on the fly. VoIP Hosted PBX Service lets you buy the exact number of users you need right now – later you can add users when you actually need them. This helps preserve capital in comparison to guessing what size PBX system you need to buy today to support the number of users you think you’ll have in 3 – 5 years.

3. A VoIP PBX Significantly Reduces Depreciation Losses: Traditional PBX systems depreciate almost 70% the day you take them out of their box. With a VoIP Hosted phone service, you won’t have to worry about depreciation since you’re not purchasing equipment.

4. A VoIp Hosted PBX is Cheaper, Easier to Maintain and Update: Moves, Add’s and Changes no longer require on-site changes to your phone system. Most VoIP Hosted PBXs can be remotely configured by the vendor, thus the flexibility to add, change, delete or move users within hours. Your expenses will be reduced by eliminating costly monthly maintenance contracts or the high labor cost required to have a tech onsite for every change you need.

5. A VoIP Hosted PBX Uses Non-Proprietary Components: When you buy a traditional PBX phone system, you’re locking your company into a long term commitment to a proprietary architecture that may or may not keep pace with technological changes. Bottom line, you are betting your company’s future that the proprietary technology will remain compatible with evolving industry standards. In the future, there’s a good chance with a traditional PBX you’ll be at the manufacturer’s mercy for repair and expansion since only their parts will work with your purchase. Make sure your VoIP Hosted PBX system works with multiple phone manufacturers. So if you decide to move to a different system, a forklift upgrade won’t be necessary.

6. A VoIP System Eliminates Technology Obsolescence: Since you’re not purchasing a phone system, you don’t have to worry about the equipment becoming obsolete. Updates and new features are automatically available to you with Hosted PBX service.

7. Disaster Recovery/ Emergency Protection: A hosted PBX product will protect your company’s calling infrastructure the same way you protect your website and email – with specialized, secure off-site hosting. Make sure if you are considering a VoIP hosted PBX that the vendor provide security and redundancy so you don’t have to worry about the physical requirements and support of your phone system.

8. Improved Features for Improved Productivity: Most enterprise VoIP Hosted Voice service providers include advanced calling features that are not available with traditional phone systems. Features that will improve the way you control your calling, like Visual Voicemail, unique DID’s, Find-Me/Follow-Me, Click-to-Call and Outlook Integration.

Easy Free Mail Calendar Sync Gone in Windows 7

Is mail calendar sync important to you?

Is mail calendar sync important to you? Apparently, Microsoft doesn’t think so. It’s no longer available as an integrated solution for free with the latest version of the Windows operating system. For some odd reason, the company decided to do away with years of tradition and bundle separate calendar and mail applications — as a download, no less!

That’s right; not only is there no mail calendar sync like before, but the alternatives provided aren’t even provided “out of the box” — they have to be downloaded first. This is due to Microsoft not wanting to go to court over monopoly accusations anymore. By providing just about anything and everything a casual computer user could want out of the box, it had been sued numerous times for stifling competition by the makers of such software as web browsers and, yes, e-mail clients. So with the latest version of Windows available on the market, Redmond’s decided to make everyone download such freebies, thus signifying consumer choice as opposed to somehow being forced to use only Microsoft products by virtue of their free inclusion with the operating system.

So, all well and good, but why oh why did it also have to have taken away the intuitive mail calendar sync provided by the integrated solution it used to, well, provide?? What would having calendar and contact functionality together in a free e-mail program have done to its fears over looking like a monopoly? Such features are almost always found together now, and separating the two into two separate programs is indisputably a step back. Or is Microsoft just being snarky with the government and its competitors — at the expense of Windows end-users?

Who knows what they’re thinking. Who knows why they stopped including pinball in their free games line-up! It’s a silly decision, which is compounded by their silly response that there are separate Windows 7 programs for calendars and contacts!

Hosted email gives your business a much more professional feel, which should give you a leg up with prospective clients, especially in this economic climate! To stay competitive, helpfully sophisticated messaging tools can provide a highly efficient way to not just access communications but also manage contacts and schedule tasks.

Hosted email also has the advantage of allowing you to scale up and down as needed. Pay-as-you-go models minimize your risks while maximizing your benefits! Letting information technology professionals operate your e-mail server saves you time and lets you concentrate on your business. Even if you have your own IT staff on hand, letting someone else do the grunt work frees up your own people for more important matters!

And again, it all just feels so much more professional. Hosted email means that you don’t have advertising running along your messages. It means you needn’t see any yourself when accessing your e-mail. Such premium services are mostly geared towards small to medium-sized businesses, giving you enterprise-level power at a fraction of the cost of running your own servers like the Big Boys! Instead of fiddling with configurations, you just tell your host how you want things, and because it’s professionally hosted you can be sure of expert quality second to none. Why waste time with free webmail and the like? Plans are affordable and the convenience can’t be beat.

Again, you also look better, and in business as in much else in life, first impressions are lasting impressions! Have you ever had someone hand you a fancy business card with a free webmail account listed? How did that make you feel about the person or his or her company? Not very positively, in all likelihood. Well, spare yourself some of that uncertainty in the minds of others, especially potential clients!

Looking for a way to decrease your phone service costs for your small business? Business voip may be the answer you’re looking for. Compared to a traditional pbx phone system and using business voip, business voip can save you money with upfront phone system equipment costs as well as individual phone call costs.

Instead of paying upfront for your business phone system equipment business voip services offer hosted pbx which means you don’t have to make that initial phone system equipment investment. Your business voip provider will already have the phone system equipment and you can access your assigned phone system via internet through your hosted pbx business voip provider services. Using a business voip provider’s hosted pbx services is usually ideal for the small business who would rather make small monthly payments for the business voip phone service rather than paying for the phone service and the phone system equipment. Hosted pbx also saves space and resources for the small business. When using business voip provider’s hosted pbx system, a small business doesn’t have to have a special room or space for their pbx phone system nor does the small business have to pay an extra employee to update and maintain their pbx phone system.

Business voip saves on phone equipment expenses as well. A regular laptop or computer today can use make and receive a phone call using business voip because all the computer needs is internet service and a microphone and speaker. An advantage to business voip phone calls using computers is also making video phone calls. A business can make conference calls using business voip and at the same time help business employees talk face-to-face on the computer via camera. This saves costs on business travel as well. Business voip conference calls allows you to put a face to a voice over the business voip phone call without flying a person out to the other business location.

Business voip isn’t only ideal for the small business, but it benefits a large business also. However, when a large business uses business voip for a call center, for example, that business must ensure that their internet service and bandwidth will be able to handle the amount of internet use for simultaneous multiple phone calls.

If you are considering business voip, having a quality phone call goes hand-in-hand with having quality internet service. Because business voip sends and receives phone call data digitally over the internet, having enough bandwidth and a reliable internet service is vital to a quality business voip service. You can have the best and highest quality business voip service, but without a reliable internet service, your business voip service won’t matter. With irregular internet service voip phone calls can be disconnected or full of static. Business voip runs on the internet, so without internet you’re without phone service and a phone system. No internet? No phone calls.

Without the required bandwidth for business voip, your phone calls can also be choppy and full of static because digital data for the phone call won’t be sent and received as it should. As your business voip provider what the internet requirements are for their business voip phone service to run at top quality. Business Voip Requires Reliable Internet Service

Business voip isn’t only ideal for the small business, but it benefits a large business also. However, when a large business uses business voip for a call center, for example, that business…. Learn more at business voip and unlimited.

With the electronic mail serving as one of the primary modes of communication, a professional business needs to avail of an email host for them to be taken seriously. There is nothing wrong with using Gmail, Yahoo mail or Hotmail but in a business where the competition is bottleneck, using these free services risks your messages to being trashed as spam by potential customers.

There is a need then for an email host that offers the services you need. There are numerous email hosts out there and if you are not careful, you may end up paying for more than what you need or paying less for services that are incomplete. In this regard, the two names that pop most frequently are Kerio and Microsoft. Just considering the two, Kerio hosted email versus Microsoft’s offering, one can get ideas not much on which of them is better but more on which of them better suits your business.

Kerio email host is often referred to as the Microsoft alternative because the basics being offered by the later are already available in the former. Just for a quick rundown, both hosts are great with connecting with people anywhere and anytime, synchronizing data with wireless gadgets, providing email securities, automatically backups your files and can save past messages in archives. Of course, both offer the regular online calendars and address books plus the beauty of having your own domain name and the company to help you when your email account encounters problems.

Down with the two being similar in services, the financial aspect should be considered. Microsoft is undeniably more expensive but they defend by saying that more pluggins are compatible with them and that their security system is more sophisticated as compared to the other.

So who wins in the fight of Kerio hosted email versus Microsoft hosted email depends on your service needs and probably your budget.

Hosted Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Communications
No equipment Required – phone services delivered from the cloud

Our hosted VOIP phone system replaces expensive phone systems, installation, handsets, land lines and numbers with a simple, cost-efficient alternative. Carolina Digital Phone provides a powerful phone system, hosted in the cloud, which is available to use on a monthly subscription basis. Each user can use a softphone or handset, which just needs to be plugged into their broadband or office network to allow them to access features such as voicemail, IVR and more, all from their control panel.

VoIP is a means of carrying phone calls and services across digital Internet networks. In terms of basic usage and functionality, VoIP is similar to traditional telephony, and a VoIP-enabled telephone works exactly like a ‘normal’ one. However, VoIP has a number of other advantages, such as cost, ease and future proofing.

When your customer adopts VoIP technology, they have typically been driven by the lower costs of IP telephony over traditional methods – a powerful incentive for most businesses. However, hosted VoIP from Carolina Digital not only brings them lower costs, but also gives them a complete array of other benefits. It is the perfect complement to our hosted desktop service, giving you comprehensive access to an affordable, mobile, scalable, state-of-the-art business infrastructure on demand.

Now you can cut your current phone bill in half and have the high-quality service and features previously only available to Fortune 500 companies. Get the complete business phone system that delivers outrageously affordable, incredibly advanced business phone service right over your Internet connection.

How? You might ask. With Carolina Digital voice over IP phone service – available wherever there’s an Internet connection

Carolina Digital Phone delivers IP-based Fortune-500 PBX features with Polycom phones as your only hardware investment. No other equipment or software is needed. Companies of any size to achieve a great business phone system with a full suite of PBX features offered. Moreover, communication through hosted VoIP enables mobile workers to stay in touch while working from remote locations.

2012 Email Marketing Predictions by David Daniels, CEO The Relevancy Group

In the column, “Innovations in Email,” I highlighted advancements that impacted the email industry in 2011. This time around, I’ll showcase trends and predict what the email marketing industry can expect in 2012.

1. The Mayan calendar ends, but email continues to show signs of life. As I have pointed out in previous columns, email’s death has been greatly exaggerated. Email will continue to be the top text-based communication tool that more than 90 percent of all Americans will use every day. Email marketing will remain a highly profitable activity for organizations. As a marketing tool, it shows no signs of slowing down.

2. More email marketers will embrace behavioral segmentation. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and the marketer’s ability to digitally understand customer’s desires and actions begins with segmenting audiences based on click-based engagement. Our consultancy found that in 2011 more email marketers embraced segmentation than had done so in 2010. While click-through-based segmentation adoption increased only five points to 42 percent during this time, adoption of demographic-oriented segmentation jumped 12 points year over year to 61 percent. Overall, email marketer sophistication will continue to increase, placing more competitive pressure on what gets noticed in the inbox.

3. Cross-channel attribution and scrutiny on success measures will dominate our attention. The sheer fascination of launching social marketing campaigns will subside and the focus will rightly turn to the return on investment of those social efforts. Marketers will place more focus on the channel that drives the desired customer behavior and will weigh the value of the discreet email and social spends. For the last decade, email marketers have placed great emphasis on reporting and analytical features of their email marketing applications. In 2012, some vendors will reward their marketer clients with sleek new tools to measure campaign attribution across channels. Still others will turn to an emerging crop of ROI calculators and financial planning tools from email marketing agencies. For example, FulcrumTech just launched ROI-Goalsetter, a useful financial modeling tool for email planning and measurement. Email marketers will also become more focused on determining the value of their subscribers, but this will continue to be challenged by the lack of cohesive and standard success measures that we use as an industry. I expect and hope that we will see greater adoption of the Email Experience Council’s support for standardized metrics or the S.A.M.E project, and that more email service providers will participate in this measurement accuracy initiative.

4. Security, breaches, and legislation will increase in 2012. Unfortunately, 2011 was memorable for some high-profile data-breaches within email marketing and other industries. The sophistication of data hacking attacks is increasing. Unfortunately, there will be more incidents and they will be greater in scope. Congress will continue to give attention to national cyber-security and trusted identities legislation works its way through Washington. 2012 is an election year and I expect cyber-security will become an important and easy issue for politicians to get behind. Marketers should become involved in the dialogue and understand what is at stake, as security is everyone’s job. There are several excellent resources and non-profit groups focused on these issues including the Online Trust Alliance and government agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

5. Marketers will understand the penalty of mailing to dormant addresses. It’s no secret that large ISPs hate when email marketers blanket an array of dormant dead email accounts. As financial belts further tighten at legacy webmail providers such as Yahoo and AOL, there will be greater focus on blocking careless senders that mail to dormant accounts. Sending to dormant accounts is increasingly viewed as a cost center to these ISPs. Removing subscribers that have not demonstrated any behavior in over a year is not a best practice – it’s common sense. Marketer reputation will increasingly be measured by inbox placement; inbox placement is and will increasingly be determined by the sender’s list hygiene – active to non-active complaint rate. This may be the year when marketers become less focused on list size and actually prioritize lists based on the value and ROI they deliver. Regardless, if marketers get on board with cutting dead weight or not, the signs are clearly there from the receiver community that they have had just about enough of getting blasts to the cemetery of long-dead mailboxes.

I’ll check back around this time in 2012 to see how close these predictions came to becoming true. The key to finding success in email is developing a plan that incrementally increases your relevance with your audience, the sophistication of your own marketing skills, and following the data and measures that define your high-value subscribers. Best wishes for a successful 2012!