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A New Communications System Can Help You,
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 As cybersecurity-related topics are hitting the news on an almost daily basis, companies across industries are scrambling to secure their data, improve their protocols, and implement new software. Considering the damage that a security breach can do to especially small businesses, these steps are certainly understandable. At the same time, comprehensive protection of your data starts much earlier in the process.

In fact, security awareness among your end users may be the single most important step you can take to keep your business, the data it stores, and the entirety of its technical infrastructure safe. If your end users know how to follow the right protocols, and protect the information they work with on a daily basis, your chance of a breach decreases drastically. More specifically, here are 5 steps you can take to enhance security awareness within your company.

What people call POTS — "plain old telephone service" — is just that, plain and old. Businesses are moving their phone service to the Internet for lots of good reasons. VoIP — voice over Internet protocol — saves money and offers many features. Even very small businesses can benefit from it.

With VoIP, your business's phones are connected to Ethernet lines rather than traditional phone lines. You'll use SIP phones rather than analog phones, or you can keep your existing phones by adding analog telephone adapters (ATAs). You can also connect mobile devices as software phones over your Wi-Fi network.

 Setting up a video conferencing system doesn't have to mean buying expensive, proprietary equipment. Zoom Rooms is a cloud-based approach to video conferencing that runs on standard computers, tablets, and AV equipment.

Being software-based creates versatility. It's not much trouble to set up a computer, a monitor, and speakers in a conference room on a one-time basis. Other people can participate from wherever they are, using a phone, a desktop computer, or any device using H.323 or SIP. The conference room and Web conferencing, which previously were separate worlds, work together.

Properly communicating is absolutely essential in the more competitive business times we're living in. Just in the last five years, communications technology has taken a flying leap forward into areas that initially seemed so far away.

Now tools like VoIP to chat bots continue to change how we communicate among employees and customers.

Many of these continue to evolve as well, including some new things this year you might want to think about using. As a small business owner, all of these digital communications tools help you stay competitive in a time when you need to stay on top of everything.

Here's some recent trends and how each of these technologies continue to evolve and bring new products.

Customer service calls get a bad reputation, and that's just the nature of the business. People call in when they have questions or complaints, not when they want to say the product or service is working perfectly. But recording the conversations can do a lot to help the conversations end on a positive note, or at least on a less negative one. Here's how to turn call recording into an advantage instead of just company policy: