Technology Advisor Blog

Whats New in SMB Tech?  Internet (VoIP) Phones!

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 6/5/18 1:04 PM

Ekaru-Jive-Lunch-EventIn case you missed it:  Last week we hosted a technology lunch and learn event with our partner, Jive Communications.  Local business owners enjoyed networking, lunch, and technology.   

Verizon is phasing out old copper phone lines, and if you have an old phone system, you may be in need of a change (even if you aren't excited about the latest and greatest features!). We still see SMBs with phone technology that's over 10 years old!  If its been that long, its time for a change.

One of our missions at Ekaru is to help SMBs get more from the technology you already have and to learn about the new technology you need to know about!

Some of the highlighted features covered in the presentation include:

  • Auto Attendants - You can add multiple Auto Attendants for your business at no additional cost.
  • Call Queues - Instead of needing to do a rapid-fire "please hold" for multiple inbound calls, you can set the calls in a queue with a pre-recorded message (with an escape hatch to voicemail) and then pick up when you're free.
  • Custom Schedules - Need to send calls to an answering service after hours - just program it in.
  • Mobile App - You can send and receive phone calls with your office caller ID from your cell phone - bring your office phone anywhere you go!
  • Hot-Desking - Get your customized phone settings to appear on another office phone.  This is great if you have shift workers or mobile workers who work out of different offices.
  • International Calling - Free calls to over 50 countries.
  • Reporting and Call Analytics - What are your busiest phone times?  How long are your average calls?  How many calls go to voicemail.  With a modern system, all the data is at your fingertips.

These are just some of the features we discussed.   For more information, check out the presentation slides.  If you're already using the system, we recommend starting with a simple plan and then building in new features as you learn about them and how they may help your business.

We've been using the Jive system for a few years and you can stop by our office to see the system in use, try a loaner phone, or get a full on-line demo.  If you haven't looked at phone systems recently, we highly recommend that you check out Jive!

Sign up for a Demo!

 

Tags: VoiP,, SMB

Important Notice Regarding Your Domain Name(s)

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 6/4/18 2:15 PM

Internet WHOISA few clients have asked us about recent notifications received from Network Solutions (and others):    "Action Required: Notice Regarding Your Domain Name(s)".  In this day and age, we recommend that all users stay alert when opening email, and we welcome questions about the legitimacy of received mail - better safe than sorry!

This notification states as follows:

"This notification is being sent to you as a contractual requirement of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) WHOIS policy. When you registered your domain with us, you agreed to keep your contact information in Account Manager current, and the WHOIS policy mandates that we ask you to verify and/or update this information periodically. Further, ICANN requires us to remind you that providing inaccurate or dated contact information may be grounds for domain name cancellation."

In this case the message IS legitimate, and we always recommend as an extra precaution that you go straight to the website in question (in this case, the company you registered your domain name with, typically Network Solutions), rather than clicking through the link in the website.  Yes, we just said the email was "real", but as a "best practice", don't follow links in emails when you don't have to. 

You don't have to reply to the email, it's just a reminder to check that the current information is still valid, and to update it as necessary.

ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a non-profit organization committed to maintaining a number of databases associated with domain names.   ICANN is committed to maintaining the WHOIS directory, which is a directory of contacts associated with all domain names - much like a telephone book.  In order for the information to be useful, it must be up to date, and anyone who registers a domain name must agree to keep the information up to date.  Domain name registrants, businesses, individuals, consumers, and law enforcement are all stakeholders in this directory.

As part of your contractual agreements when you registered your domain name, you agreed to keep the contact information accurate and current.  If you use a private registration, you must keep the contact information current at your registrar.   Note that all your renewal notices, etc, will be sent to the current contact on file, so its also in YOUR interest to keep the information current.  Even if you have a credit card on file for automatic renewal, if the card expires or gets replaced, without out accurate contact information you won't get the notification and you could lose your domain name.  

To look up your own information, go to the Network Solutions WHOIS lookup tool.  The Registrant organization should be your company name (not an employee or webmaster! - this is VERY important!  Does the business own the domain name, or does the employee or webmaster who set it up own it?  Make sure this is correct!.  Also check that the registrant, administrative, and technical contacts are all current.  

Check the WHOIS Primer for more information on the role of ICANN and the WHOIS directory.

 

 

 

Tags: eMail, Internet, web site

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