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smplsolutions

5 Ways Your Company Can Get Green

It seems like everyone wants to “go green” these days, if not for the environment itself, then at least to improve the company’s public image. No one wants to be called out for not being green enough, like Toshiba’s copier division was in 2012, but it’s often difficult for technology companies to be more environmentally conscious.

The technology industry isn’t often associated with “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” what with consumers clamoring to buy the latest and greatest gadget only to discard yesterday’s still-working model.  What’s worse, many technologies need to be responsibly discarded because they contain significant quantities of hazardous materials including lead, cadmium and arsenic that can poison air, water, and land when deposited in landfills.

An industry with such destructive components may not seem to be able to join the green movement, but that’s not the case at smplsolutions.  We are doing our part to minimize our carbon footprint and preserve our environment.  The good news is that there are many SMPL® things every office can do to make a difference.  Here are some of our favorites:

Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions

An easy thing to do – and a good first step on the road to going green – is asking your cleaning crew to use only eco-friendly cleaning solutions.  There may be times when they need to use harsh chemicals like bleach, but for everyday use, it’s completely fine to switch to cleaning products that don’t hurt the environment.

Go Paperless

Paperless billing and faxing is becoming more and more popular as the technology behind the service evolves.  At smplsolutions we no longer have hard copies of faxes or invoices; everything is done electronically unless a client requests that we mail a hard copy.  Going paperless has allowed us to cut our paper consumption by more than half—good for the Earth and for our budget!

Tint Office Windows

Approximately one-third of a structure’s total heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors.  Knowing this, one of the first modifications President & CEO David Case made to our building was to put energy-efficient tinting on its windows.  The tint helps to insulate the office, which reduces our need to run the heating and air conditioning.  If tinting isn’t an option for your office, make sure to efficiently use window coverings to regulate the temperature.

Reduce & Improve Business Travel

Obviously one of our greatest impact points is technicians traveling to client locations.  Luckily, technology is helping minimize the need for onsite visits, and The Tech Team uses software, like Team Viewer, to remotely handle glitches and changes to client networks as often as possible. Still, there are times when it’s impossible to complete the job remotely, like during a system installation or cabling project.

On-site telecom projects often require a ladder, tool box and other equipment that doesn’t fit well into a sedan.  For that reason, many companies use pickup trucks or full-size vans as their corporate vehicles.  Not smplsolutions.  When rolling a tech is unavoidable, we have a fleet of fuel-efficient smplsolutions Scion xBs outfitted with roof racks to get The Tech Team on the road and to the rescue.

Start a Recycling Program

Finally, smplsolutions provides a free technology recycling service to clients.  Our technicians pick up old batteries, computers, monitors, servers, printers and other items from clients. We destroy any hard drives to ensure client privacy, and store everything on a pallet in our warehouse.  When we have collected a pallet worth of items we have a hardware recycling company come to our office to responsibly dispose of everything.  The last time they made a pickup we had more than 3,000 lbs. of batteries!

It’s never too late to implement a company recycling program or ask your cleaning crew to switch to eco-friendly products.  Even in an industry where waste is prevalent (what did you do with your last iPhone after you upgraded?) there are ways to minimize the corporate carbon footprint and make a difference.

Several Different Types of VoIP Calling Solutions

How does this help?

What are the specific advantages that VoIP offers?

VoIP helps you to use your existing Internet connection to make or receive calls and you do not need to rely on the traditional telephone lines. The primary benefit is that you may be able to save hundreds of dollars a month because you will not need the traditional telephone lines and you can completely bypass your phone company while making the calls.

VoIP is the latest technology that has given a paradigm shift to the way we communicate with our phone systems – both at our office as well as at home. There are several VoIP providers in the market that are providing their services at a fraction of prices than your telephone company. The time is not far when the traditional telephone systems will book their places in the pages of history as they are going to be slowly replaced by VoIP phone systems.

The most interesting VoIP feature is that you will be able to place calls in different ways and it will depend on your choice. Let us take a look at the different types of VoIP calling:

Phone to Phone (Analog Telephone Adapter or ATA)

This is the simplest as well as the most popular way of making or receiving calls. You will need an analog telephone adapter or ATA that helps you to connect your standard phone to the computer network and use VoIP. This is a standard that converts analog signals into digital signals.

Phone to computer (IP phone)

These are the phones that have been specifically designed to work with VoIP service. It looks similar to the usual digital phones and you will need a RJ45 connector for connecting it to the network. These phones can be directly connected to the router and it has all the necessary hardware as well as software to manage IP calls. There are even Wi-Fi enabled IP phones where you can connect to the Wi-Fi network and make calls.

Computer-to-computer

This is probably the most popular and easiest of all VoIP calling as you will be able to make calls between two computers that are on the same network. Also, you won’t need to pay for the long distance calls because they use the Internet, and you already pay a bill for that. There are no additional charges on the calls that you make from a computer because the calls are absolutely free. There are several VoIP service providers who provide the software for making the calls so you will need to arrange for the speakers and microphones to make the calls.

Computer-to-Telephone:

You can place calls from your computer to any phone around the world and charges are very low.

Mobile-to-other devices:

This is a recent phenomenon. With an app that you can download for Android or iOS, you cellular phone becomes an end device. You can make and receive VoIP calls the same way as if you are sitting at your desk.

VoIP has numerous advantages and you will be able to even integrate the same with your mobile phone. Thus, you need not even be at your desk to make calls or receive calls. Several advanced telephony features can be accessed by using VoIP. You will love to be a part of a telecom revolution because there are many things that you can actually gain by implementing VoIP at your office or home. Businesses can make their communication systems robust and competitive by opting for the latest Voice over Internet (VoIP) telephony.

About smplsolutions

smplsolutions offers products and services for telephone, cloud, computer networking, video conferencing, video surveillance, data management, and cabling necessities. Our highly trained technicians, The Tech Team™ are your team of networking and communications experts.

Call us today on 800.943.7675 for all your communication, networking and surveillance requirements.

Top 10 Cloud Services for Small Businesses

The Cloud is not only about telephone or VoIP systems as its services extend to storage and computing, too. Cloud storage is the latest trend among small business owners because it gives them a new and powerful way to access, share and secure their organizational data. Small businesses often lack the infrastructure or investment capacity to maintain the latest storage equipment and this usually leads to problems like data loss, redundancy and data theft. However with the advent of cloud storage, they have been able to securely store their organizational data, access and even share them with others.

In this article, we are going to take a look at 10 cloud storage services that are making life easier for the small business owners.

  1. Dropbox for Small businesses
    Many of us have always used Dropbox for free to store, sync and even share our personal files on the cloud and mobile devices/PCs. Now Dropbox for Business is the latest service that offers 1 TB cloud storage space along with centralized monitoring with greater security features. Users will also be able to track and recover older files with ease.
  2. Box
    Box is a unique cloud based service that helps you to maintain business data for centralized collaboration on the cloud. Some unique features that come with Box are screencast and screenshot sharing from your PC and the ability to carry out context-based searches in the files while integrating a great range of other services.
  3. Microsoft SkyDrive
    Microsoft’s SkyDrive gives small businesses an opportunity to store their business data for free and even integrate the same with the Windows Operating systems.
  4. Google Drive
    Google made its foray into cloud-storage services a few years back and it offers small businesses the opportunity to store, sync and share their files and folders with others via your web-browser. You will be able to even view files that require programs not installed on your computer.
  5. Carbonite Business
    Carbonite Business is quite similar to MozyPro as it helps you to back up the data (in the form of files and folders) on any windows or Mac server. This is by far the cheapest service as it charges less than a dollar per year for every GB of space you use.
  6. SpiderOak
    The majority of cloud-storage service providers encrypt the data that you store on their servers. However, they also store your password, which makes the sensitive data accessible to anyone who cracks your password.
    On the other hand, SpiderOak helps you to store your sensitive data on your computer where you can give your own password – they do not store your password in an encrypted form. Thus, no one other than you can actually access the data when needed.
  7. MozyPro
    MozyPro helps you to automatically back up the data stored on your PC, laptop and even servers. The software program is compatible with different OS like Mac and Windows. The charges of this service are based on the amount of storage you use and not the number of computers or servers you wish to create backups for.
  8. Acronis Backup and Recovery Online
    This cloud-storage service helps you to back up the data of an entire PC or server and not just help you to store specific files or folders – a great tool to recover data when the PC or server completely crashes.
  9. CrashPlan Pro
    CrashPlan Pro offers its backup support to Solaris and Linux systems as well as the obvious Mac and Windows-based systems. You have the unique option of choosing between unlimited storage for one computer and a specified amount of data for an unlimited number of systems.
  10. SugarSync for Business
    SugarSync for Business offers the unique service of syncing and sharing files from any computer around the world. Irrespective of whether you are using Android, Mac or iOS, you will be able to store, sync and even share your files and folders. You will also be able to send links of the shared files in email, so you do not even need to attach the files to each email.

About SMPLsolutions

smplsolutions offers products and services for telephone, cloud, computer networking, video conferencing, video surveillance, data management, security and cabling needs. Our highly trained technicians, The Tech Team, are your team of networking and communications experts.

Call us today on 800.943.7675 for all your communication, networking and surveillance requirements.