6 Ways to Streamline Your Business Through Tech

Business Insights
16/01/2019 13:53:00

Businesses of all kinds are always looking for ways to make their day-to-day operations smoother and easier, and new technology is helping streamline systems like never before. Here Nathan Hill-Haimes, founder of Amvia, discusses some of the best ways for you to streamline your business using industry-focused tech solutions.

Improve your public Wi-Fi

Providing public broadband is about more than just handing out a password. You also need to ensure your business broadband package is able to handle the amount of potential traffic that it will encounter every day. Choose a package that offers an unlimited amount of data and make sure it offers very fast speeds, as a slow Internet connection will frustrate customers and discourage them from using your service in the future.

When making your Wi-Fi open access, you need to make sure that you have the right security measures in place. WPA2 comes as standard with all modern routers and is the most up to date Wi-Fi security. It’s also good practice to take the precautionary steps of changing your passwords often, ensuring the router is located away from public access, adding additional firewalls and ensuring that the strength of the Wi-Fi covers only your premises.

Consider a leased line

Unlike standard home broadband where you share a line with your neighbours, a leased line is a line dedicated to your business alone. When you share a line with your neighbours, then the amount of bandwidth available to you varies depending on how many other people are using the service at the same time, reducing speed at busy times – this is not the case with a leased line, as it doesn’t share bandwidth.

For medium sized and growing businesses, a leased line is often the most practical and cost effective choice. The bandwidth provided is symmetric, meaning users get identical upload and download speeds, usually in excess of 10Gbps – perfect for the most demanding of business tasks.

Amvia’s Leased Line comparison tool AmviaSearch™ provides businesses with access to the best deals available without the need to get quotes from multiple providers. The free to use online tool provides a completely unbiased view and saves users an average of 37% on their existing contracted rate, as well as saving valuable time that could be better spent on more pressing business matters.

Implement resilience

Many industries find Internet outages catastrophic. If you rely in VoIP telephony, SaaS systems or cloud storage, downtime can have a severe impact on your productivity and even your reputation. Businesses that need reliable connectivity are turning to Internet failover links to mitigate these critical risks – this is a secondary Internet connection which is setup to ensure you don’t lose valuable uptime in your service. Relying on one connection is a risky approach, but spreading that risk across a secondary connection gives you peace of mind, helps your colleagues remain productive and your customers receiving the services and products they need.

Typically, a fibre link may be your main connection and a wireless connection may be your backup. A properly implemented failover solution will automatically switch from your primary connection to your secondary link, and a successful failover process instantly transfers tasks from a failed Internet service to a similar or redundant system. An automated failover system has the ability to quickly reroute data and communications to minimize business disruption.

Understand today’s security risks

Understanding the variation of threats to your Internet security is crucial to creating preventative strategies. Small businesses are often more vulnerable to attack because they don't have the same big budget for protection as large corporations.

Writing a security policy for your business is prudent. Ensure all employees are well versed in the policy and fully understand the implications of non-adherence. You also need a policy that indicates what to do if a breach occurs. If you are the victim of a cyber attack, you'll be glad to have a reference as to which systems need to be closed down and how to retrieve potentially lost data.

Install a static IP address

A static IP address is a number that is given to you by your broadband provider, which identifies your device whenever it goes online so the network knows where data should be sent. IP addresses can either be dynamic or static. In most cases, they will be the former, which means that every time you switch on your computer, your IP address is going to change. However, with a static IP address, it will never change – it remains the same all of the time. Therefore, you will have a number that is fixed to your device and your connection only. With a static IP address you will benefit from less downtime, as dynamic IP addresses run the risk of downtime whenever the IP address refreshes – havoc if you need to rely on a stable connection.

Switch to a VoIP phone line

VoIP, also known as Internet telephony or ‘voice over IP’, is a way of making phone calls without using a traditional analogue phone line. There are many benefits of using VoIP. It’s cheaper than normal phone lines once it has been set up, and could even mean that you pay nothing at all when you make a phone call – though this depends on the distance and which country you're calling. In some cases, you can spend hours on a telephone conference for free!

VoIP allows you to make and receive voice and video calls as if you were in the office from your smartphone, laptop, iPad, tablet or home PC. A VoIP system exists wherever you work and gives you all of the functions you may need remotely. Calling a landline or mobile will be routed through your office minutes contract.

In some cases, you will be able to keep your phone number – it depends on the provider if they can swap it over – some plans even mean you won't need a number. The cost of VoIP depends on your setup, but app-to-app calls are mostly free, and those provided by a business will come with a monthly cost.