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It May Be Time to Fire the IT and Telecom Manager for Your Small Business

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 101

In my twenty plus years of IT and Telecom consulting, I have discovered small businesses have the same needs as large enterprises. My clients were always smart enough to hire me to advise and oversee their IT and Telecom implementations. Many small business owners that I meet today tend to try to impress me with what they have done with the wired and wireless network for their small business.

I'm going to share with you how I save money for my clients while upgrading their network infrastructure and helping them get more from their telecommunication solution. The two main pieces of advice is get a good 802.1Q layer two switch and the second piece of advice is stop buying phone lines from the phone company and replace them with a SIP trunk.

A good switch is not one you pull off the shelf from your local computer store where the box has 'Switch' written all over it. Most hubs that are labeled 'Switch' are referring to its ability to change port speed from 10,100,1000 megabits. If it does not have the ability to do 802.1q, then it is just a port switching hub. Hubs are okay for home use, but not for business use when traffic management is important. Netgear and Cisco both make 802.1q switches for small business that are offered in 24 or 48 ports. Make sure the switch you purchase has VLan management and at least 2-4 Gigabit on the back plane. Don't worry that you may not know what all this means, just look under specifications for the keywords I have provided.

As for routers, I like the Cisco WRVS4400N gigabit router. Trust me, the wireless router provided by your internet provider may work, but it is not high enough quality for small business needs. Good cabling will be needed to ensure you get the best transmission over your network. Category 6 is what I recommend. I am always amazed when business owner/IT manager can't answer questions about the type of cabling he/she is using or who installed it. You can have the best IT equipment, but if the cabling is poor, it will be all for not.

Most small business can look to spend $1000 - $2500 on a very good basic network upgrade. I often hear, "I can't afford to spend that kind of money right now." What if I show you how to pay for it within a year? Replacing expensive phone lines with a SIP trunk can save you money. For example, I have a client that had five (10) analog phone lines from the phone company at a total cost of $319.75. I replaced his analog lines with a ten member SIP trunk that cost $179.50 for a savings of 140.50. He also had four cell phones for he and his family, I had his provider modify his mobile plan to data-only and reduce his $271.00/month to $129.00/month saving him $142.00/month. The cell phone use Fring and SIP to access his SIP trunk. Last, a SIP phone was installed at home saving him $72.00/month. I saved my client $4254.00 in his first year plus phone features his phone company could not provide such as Digital Receptionist (IVR).

The great thing about SIP trunks is that you can access them from and device that has a SIP client application and Internet access. Most SIP providers charge you by the seat or user account. Avoid these providers because the cost savings will not materialize. Also, some providers have a monthly plan that only include incoming calls with a per minute charge for outgoing calls. Read the fine print to ensure 'unlimited' truly means unlimited without cap limits.

If you need additional information, please visit the website http://www.myowntelephonecompany.com for more information on purchasing the right SIP resources for your business or call 469-453-8023. If you are unsure about SIP/VoIP, take advantage of http://www.myowntelephonecompany.com free offer to try before you buy. You have nothing to loose and a great IT and Telecom solution to gain for your business.

Source: EzineArticles
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