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Critical Components of Effective Data & Voice Network Design

Today’s businesses know that success cannot simply be measured by bottom-line profit. Smart entrepreneurs are aware that the game has changed, and those who want to keep up with it have to adapt and adopt the necessary technologies that are fundamentally critical to successful business operations. Perhaps the most critical component is the implementation and maintenance of an effective data and voice network design that will support all of the current and future Information Technology (IT) infrastructure requirements.

 

The best managed IT service providers know that effective network design should aim at the successful evaluation, understanding, and scoping of the requirements of a secure, resilient, and scalable data and voice network. It often involves the creation of a network diagram to be used as a blueprint for the physical design of the network, and it typically includes:

  • A logical map of the network
  • Cabling structure
  • Quantity, type, and location of network devices (router, switches, etc.)
  • Wireless network design and access point (AP) locations with associated Heat Map
  • IP addressing structure
  • Network security architecture and overall network security processes

 

If it is your first time designing one, make sure that you focus on these major areas for consideration to help streamline the process for maximum efficiency.

 

Data Security

Data security should be among the most significant priorities for any business that needs to work on their network design. Connectivity is the end goal of the system, yes, but it should not lose sight of protecting all the data generated by that connectivity, whether internal or external. Your IT team should have solid security protocols in place for data storage, data access, and data protection.

 

Redundancy and Backing Up

Since we’re already discussing data security, it is necessary to make redundancy and backing up a part of the conversation. Why? Even the most secure network can fall prey to major risks that can damage the integrity of their data through unauthorized access or other major security mishaps. Redundancy makes sure that you have the right backup devices that can take over mission-critical components if one of them fails or inoperable. For instance, having two servers means that one can take over for the other if it requires maintenance, gets attacked, or otherwise becomes lost to the network. Similarly, if connectivity to the Internet is a must for your company at all times, you should look at having more than one connection set up to minimize downtime during unfortunate situations.

 

Disaster Recovery

Finally, design measures for data recovery. These may cover provisions for backup power, data backup mechanics, and standardization of protocols and procedures for network or server crashes. And they should include all types of potential disasters, ranging from those that happen in the office to the entire metropolitan.

As one of your trusted managed IT, service providers, Far Out Solutions offers a whole suite of services to help businesses create, implement, and maintain the best possible network. Talk to us today!

Digital global business network connection and people walking in the city with technology design

Benefits of Working with a Global IT Managed Services Provider

Digitalization has leveled the field for all types of businesses, and today, a local startup has as much chance of being as successful as an established enterprise, if the right Information Technology (IT) resources are harnessed, adopted, and optimized. This is the reason why smart business owners invest in perfecting their technological suites and processes, as these are necessary to manage, efficiently operate, sell, market, deliver a great customer experience and thus positively impact business goals.

However, entrepreneurial or small/medium sized businesses do not have as much resources as an established enterprise, when it comes to setting up, running, and maintaining the ideal IT infrastructure. Most businesses do not have the budget that, say, a Fortune 500 company has for taking care of all the technical requisites that are involved in their day-to-day operations. And if they fail to keep up with the IT demands of the industry, they risk losing a lot of clients, money, and potential for growth.

This is why working with a global IT managed services provider comes is beneficial. Such a company steps in, from network support to holistic IT management. You can detail the specific services that you need, for a chosen time period, and within your budget. And working with us at Far Out Solutions can be the difference between making full use of the rewards that digitalization can offer and staying stuck, stranded, and stagnant in profits and goals.

Lowered Costs, Lowered Risks

One of the most appealing facets of working with global IT managed services providers is the fact that you don’t only get reduced operational costs, you also lower the risks that are invariably inherent in certain types of businesses. This is because most providers are experts at navigating the different regulations for compliance, technological handling, and other critical aspects of running a business. We at Far Out Solutions provide comprehensive guidance to our clients to help them meet all established standard guidelines and ensure compliance.

Access to IT Expertise

We are in the middle of a technical revolution where data and cloud computing reigns supreme, and this requires more than surface-level knowledge, in many instances. Having a managed IT services plan makes sure that your company has access to the IT expertise that you need to stay at the forefront of changing trends, as well as new technologies. You don’t need to worry about steep learning curves or expensive consultancy services, we can help you out with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Freedom to Focus On Your Business

Far Out Solutions offers 24/7 support, quick responses, comprehensive services and a solutions-based approach to IT services. With us, you can have the freedom to focus on the other important aspects of your business. Would you like to put together a customized managed IT services plan? Talk to us today!

Business office building in London, England

Top 3 Reasons Why Technology Is Essential to Secure Commercial Property

Technology has revolutionized our lives, and every new trend only reinforces the reality of its incorporation into every facet of our existence. The specific security accessories, gadgets, and programs that are found in apartment buildings, condominiums, and other commercial real estate play a crucial role in our safety and well-being. If you are a commercial property business proprietor or manager, this suite of technology and associated IT support services delivers immeasurable value to the owner and tenants. Here are three of the biggest benefits that it can provide.

1.) Reinforced Security and Safety For Your Commercial Property

A comprehensive property management IT support suite can supplement existing security personnel and measures in your commercial properties to reinforce security and safety. Fire alarm systems, security systems, and other relevant technology provide monitoring and protection round-the-clock. A good commercial real estate IT consultant can help you identify the best systems for your needs, and customize it according to your specific property.

2.) An Effective Deterrent and Accessory Against Crime

Studies show that burglars are less likely to break into properties with installed CCTVs and other security systems. In the event of a break-in, though, a well-maintained security system can help track the breach, pinpoint the perpetrator, and help solve the case faster. Such systems can also be instrumental to the resolution of other types of emergency events.

3.) Peace of Mind For You And Your Tenants

Finally, commercial real estate IT solutions can give you and your tenants that coveted luxury that is often missing in today’s world of uncertainties, “Peace of Mind”. Granted, these systems will not always be able to directly intervene in the middle of a security risk, but they exist to remind us that we are at our safest when we are at home.

Far Out Solutions: Leading Property Management IT Solutions Provider

At Far Out Solutions, we pride ourselves on equipping a wide range of commercial properties with the comprehensive IT systems and services that they need to optimize safety and security for their tenants. We carry both wired and wireless security systems and fire alarm systems, and we provide, consulting, installations, checkups, tuneups, diagnostics, backup, and maintenance. Our team also offers 24/7 technology support, as well as training for your staff.

Even better, our commercial real estate IT consultants closely work with you to determine the best possible security suite for your property. Whether it is your first time to install a system or your property requires an upgrade, we can help. We will sit down with you to discuss the main security considerations that you would like to implement, so that we are sure that we are giving you the “Peace of Mind” that we are committed to giving every one of our clients. Talk to us today!

You’re Not Using Office 365 Yet? Here are Four Reasons to Change Your Mind

So, you’re still using Office 2013? 2010? 2007? Well, how’s that working out? Is your team really being as productive as you want? Are they doing the best work possible? And by the way, how’s your Myspace profile doing? Did you check it on your iPhone 4?

You can’t use outdated technologies and expect your business to stay competitive. It’s time to consider making the move to Office 365. With a subscription to Office 365, you boost your team’s communication and collaboration from anywhere, anytime and on any device. Plus, you have exclusive upgrades and new features as soon as they’re released. If you need more convincing, here are four reasons that will change your mind:

Access Your Favorite Tools in One Place, from Any Device

Your team uses tools like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote to conquer their to-do lists every day. So, it’s imperative to your business’s success that they’re able to access these tools throughout the workday without any hassle. When you decide to make the move, Office 365 works flawlessly with the programs you already know well and use.

You get the same great features you rely on, as well as additional powerful capabilities only found in Office 365. The best part? You’re empowered to take productivity on-the-go and access emails, important documents, contacts and more from anywhere on any device.

Communicate and Collaborate with Ease

So, you want your team to create innovative work that leaves your competitors in the dust, but you’re not sure what you can contribute to make this task easier? Give them the gift of simple communication and collaboration.

Office 365 provides you with the opportunity to share large files in and out of the office and gives you a single location to find real-time versions of documents, even when multiple users are working on them. And to keep the lines of communication open, your team can initiate online meetings and instant message each other with Skype for Business.

Prepare for Expansion

New heights, massive growth, well-deserved success – those were your big picture goals when you started your business, right? Well, for that dream to come to fruition you need tools and technology that grow with you as evolve. Office 365 offers the flexibility and scalability you need with a predictable pay-as-you-go subscription.

With this subscription, it’s easy to provide your team with only the services and tools they need, adding cost-effective savings to your bottom line. Plus, Office 365 makes adding new users a smooth, seamless process.

Experience New Features and Automatic Updates

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you have to avoid getting stuck with outdated tools and technology. Luckily, Office 365 breaks the cycle of installing Microsoft’s latest release, waiting a few years for their next product to be announced and then another year to actually install it.

Once you migrate to Office 365, you’ll have instant access to the latest updates and new features as soon as they’re ready, so you’re always ahead of the curve.

How Do We Help?

While Office 365 was designed for businesses with no in-house IT staff to easily use, navigating the waters of migration can often be tricky. Our friendly and professional technicians deliver reliable support to make your transition and implementation pain-free and seamless. But, that’s not where we stop. We provide continual support to remotely diagnose and resolve your Office 365 hiccups in record time. Contact us today to get started.

Is Unified Communications Right for Your Business?

Did you know that 95% of people in the workforce say that face-to-face interactions are essential to building long-term business relationships? If that’s true, why do so many businesses put up with traditional telecommunication systems? Unified communications is your go-to solution for improving real-time video conferencing and virtual face-to-face interactions. Whether you’re looking for a better telecom solution or have never considered UC; use this quick checklist to see if your business needs UC services.

  1. Is your team neglecting valuable leads during call-transfers?

  2. Are you buying multiple subscriptions for email, instant messenger, telephones and automated systems?

  3. Are you losing time sending files back-and-forth between internal and external team members?

  4. Are you missing out on nonverbal cues because you lack video conferencing capabilities?

  5. Is your team pointing fingers when it comes to a failed sell?

  6. Have you been told that your existing solution doesn’t sync with a new solution?

  7. Are you unhappy with the overall reliability of your current telecom solution?

  8. Do you have trouble keeping track of who is and isn’t on a call with a customer?

  9. Do you struggle to connect customers with the right expert the first time they call?

  10. Can you record customer conversations to help improve their experience?

 

Answered ‘Yes’ 1-2 Times: Your current solution looks pretty good, but for how long? Unified communications integrates your favorite platforms for a long-term solution that scales with your business.

Answered ‘Yes’ 3-6 Times: Not bad; but not great. You’ve got some work to do when it comes to providing seamless telecom experiences for your customers.

Answered ‘Yes’ 8-10 Times: Your business is in critical need of a better telecommunication solution. If you keep putting it off, you’ll not only be hurting your business, you’ll be ruining your customer relationships.

 

Whether you need minimal or maximum help, contact us today to learn more about UC and how our managed solutions help you solve your toughest telecom challenges.

Top 5 Tech Tools for Taming Your Remote Workforce

It’s the 21st century, which means it’s not uncommon for organizations to have some workers in the office and others telecommuting from various locations. In fact, according to a Global Workplace Analytics report, the number of telecommuting workers has increased 115 percent in the last decade.

Taming a remote workforce is a whole different beast. It requires extra care and attention to keep communication, collaboration and processes under control. It’s a daunting task. But fortunately, an IT managed services provider can help.

Here are 5 managed services for your remote workforce:

  1. VoIP Phone Systems

One of the best remote workforce tools is VoIP. That is because voice over IP phone systems operate over high-speed wireless connections, so it can be accessed from anywhere. Not to mention, you gain valuable features like the ability to enable video calls and dial in for conferences and quickly add new numbers or extensions.

Best of all, it doesn’t break the bank! Many companies are making the switch to VoIP because it saves small businesses an average of 40 percent on their total phone bill, while larger businesses see an average of 50 to 75 percent savings after making the switch.

  1. Managed Security

A secure end-to-end solution is a necessity with such a widespread infrastructure. And this may be the greatest challenge for a remote workforce: how to keep your business-critical data and applications secure when accessed outside the safety of the office. Installing network security provisions and setting up alerts for when problems occur is a good start.

More than half of workers in the US are developing BYOD programs. Oftentimes, BYOD (bring your own device) leaves holes in your security, so some companies have gone one step further. A VPN (virtual private network) is among the safest options for your remote workforce, while you might also want to consider trying out the best cloud computing solutions for a full list of secure productivity tools.

  1. The Cloud

Workers must be able to easily access information when they need it. Without this, your productivity slips, as even the simplest task is made frustrating and complicated.

Cloud hosted applications like Office 365 connect all employees across great distances. Not only do they have the same tools to keep things standard, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, and Lync, they also have one platform to exchange information and secure files in an easy-to-access location.

In addition, many organizations are switching to cloud-hosted applications and storage options to unleash more processing power and speed up everyday business.

  1. Data Backup and Recovery

What’s the scariest part about a remote workforce? Big time loss – losing files, data, processes and entire systems to the elements, human and computer errors. When disaster strikes, you need a backup plan, and without it, most businesses sink under the pressure.

Therefore, all remote workforces need a data backup and recovery plan. When employees who are all over the place and left to their own devices exchange, store and access critical files every day, you have an entire business in your data stores to lose. A backup plan is your friend.

  1. Remote Managed Services

With managed services, it’s as if you already had your own IT department. And not just your average IT department – a whole team of IT experts with years of collective, real-world experience in solving the toughest problems and keeping up with equipment provisioning. They do all the maintenance, monitoring, securing and backing up for your business’s precious data-stores, while you sit back and watch how smoothly things work.

Many companies choose to employ a remote managed services provider because it means there’s always someone to call when technology goes wrong. And this proactive approach leads to savings on break-fix models in the long run.

What solutions does your organization need to succeed with a remote workforce?

Our business specializes in managed services for your remote workforce. Contact us today, and let’s talk about the best IT tools for you.

Top 5 CES Products: The Best Way to Achieve Your Goals in 2018 – Faroutsolutions

It’s true that there’s never a wrong time to buy new technology, but what’s the best time? The beginning of a new year, of course! With every new year comes new technology innovating the way you get business done. Your goals are fresh in your mind with a strategic plan to achieve them, and now you have a stronger infrastructure to support you along the way.

Last month’s 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place in Las Vegas, attracting over 170,000 attendees and showcasing thousands of new technologies, and these five CES products are going to skyrocket your productivity:

 

Asus Lyra Trio

Think of all the spots in your office that your Wi-Fi signal doesn’t reach. Now, imagine all the tasks you could cross off your to-do list if those dead spots didn’t exist. Asus announced the release of the Lyra Trio and the end of your dead spots. The Lyra Trio is a dual-band, tri-hub mesh Wi-Fi system with unique antenna placement that delivers Wi-Fi to every corner of your office, so you can check off all of your online tasks with no interruptions.

 

Lenovo Miix Tablet 630

Who wants to lug around a laptop while traveling? But on the other hand, some tablets just don’t offer the functionalities you need to get work done. The new Lenovo Miix Tablet 630 brings working on the go to a whole new level. The tablet provides the power and productivity of a laptop with the always-on and connected mobility of a smartphone while weighing less than three pounds. You can even get up to 20 hours of work done before needing to find an outlet.

The Pup Pocket Scanner

Doesn’t it seem like you only ever need a scanner when you don’t have access to one? Well, say goodbye to low-quality images of documents taken on your phone, and hello to high quality and easily stored images. The Pup Pocket Scanner, dubbed the world’s fastest pocket scanner, is a powerful tool that allows you to scan, store and share all of your important documents with just one click.

 

Aura

Among the hundreds of CES products unveiled last month, smart home security systems were a hot topic. And, among those products, Aura was by far the most popular. With this new security system, you no longer need a camera or infrared sensors to track unusual activity in your home or office. Just plug Aura into an outlet and she’ll monitor the WiFi radio waves that fill your office. When these patterns are interrupted, Aura knows that motion is occurring, so you can keep track of who comes in and out of your home and when someone’s in there who shouldn’t be.

 

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Old machines slow you down and hold your productivity hostage. You need a laptop with functionality that makes your workday easier. The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is all that and more. Fold it back to form a tablet with its 360-degree hinge and utilize its 15-hour battery life while enjoying its portability.

We understand that finding and implementing new technologies to your infrastructure that help achieve your goals can be challenging and overwhelming. We’re here to make it easier for you and help you succeed. Get in touch with us today and schedule your free consultation.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year Thanks to Section 179

Is new technology for the workplace on your holiday to-do list? Well, you do not need to wait–you’ll be jumping for joy this tax season thanks to Section 179.

Exactly what is the Section 179 Tax Deduction?

Area 179 allows you to deduct the full price of any eligiblepermitted hardware or application bought or rented during this previous year. This means you do not need to wait on holiday sales to begin, you can take action now to remain competitive and get the hardware and software you need while benefiting your bottom line.

Here’s what qualifies:

Bought, financed or rented hardware and software
Workstations, laptops, tablets, smartphones
Servers, printers, routers, network switches, network security devices
Off-the-shelf applications (productivity, administrative, operating systems, etc.)

Here are a few limitations:

$ 500,000– Maximum overall quantity you can deduct of hardware and software purchased in 2017.
$ 200,000– Maximum overall quantity you can deduct of rented equipment in 2017.
$ 2M– Maximum overall quantity of equipment acquired in 2017 eligible for full deduction.

Here’s what you need to do:

Buy, finance or lease the equipment and put it into use by midnight December 31, 2017. Additionally, your purchase should be for business utilize more than 50 percent of the time.

Here’s how you can make the most of the Section 179 Deduction:

Simply make the purchase and utilize Form 4562 to claim your tax break.
The full tax break can be claimed up until you’ve reached $2M in hardware or application purchases.
Previous the $2M point, the reduction decreases on a dollar-for-dollar basis and vanishes as soon as $2.5 M worth of software and hardware is acquired.

For most scenarios, applying the tax break will be as easy as deducting the total of the purchase as a Section 179 expense; although, in some cases it can be a bit trickier. To find out more about Section 179 or if you need help getting started, contact us to request your complimentary, no-obligation Section 179 assessment.

Man resting head on laptop

Here’s How You Can Minimize the Cost of Downtime

Technology is the backbone of your business, so downtime can dramatically damage bottom line. According to a 2016 ITIC survey, one hour of downtime can cost you more than $100,000. The longer it takes to get your system back up, the scarier the numbers get.

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