Special Announcement: IVSComm Now offers SMS! Learn more here
Your Tools of Business Simplified
A recent article in MarketingLand (https://marketingland.com/customers-want-more-text-based-customer-support-options-from-brands-275739) discusses how customers react better to support interactions that are in real-time as opposed to having to wait for responses delayed by the email turn around. What do you think? Do you like getting the text messages from your healthcare provider, for example, to remind you about appointments?
We've got SMS texting available for you to deploy now to help your support people better engage with your customers. Would that make a difference in how you do business?
Yes! We can get you set up to send and receive SMS and MMS messages from your VOIP phone number. If you need to contact patients, residents, or others and need to use texting to do it—call us and get started today! Its quick and easy, and best of all, very affordable.
Yes, you need those. Both of them. But for different reasons. A surge protector is a power strip that has a few outlets in it that are protected against sudden spikes in voltage. Such spikes can occur due to weather such as lightning strikes, or from service on the utility. The surge protector absorbs the spike in voltage and prevents damage to the connected devices, such as computers or monitors. Once a surge
In November, as the weather turns cold and we bundle up with family and loved ones, it is easy to look back and consider those who have meant something in the past year. In this spirit of reflection and thanks, we wanted to take a minute to acknowledge those for whom we are grateful. • For those skilled, compassionate professionals who are part of the care team charged with helping our Shawn with his journey through cancer. We wouldn’t be the same without him, and for them, we are grateful. • For our employees, partners, and providers, those who pull together and do the heavy lifting to get the job done often under time-sensitive deadlines, but always above expectations; for them we are grateful. • For you all, our customers, who
We're proud to announce users have the ability to use SMS.
Yes! Well, sorta. You can send messages that appear to have come from your VoIP phone, but you need a computer to act as the sender and receiver of the text messages. It's an easy application to set up and it is very inexpensive. If you would like to send reminders to your clients or patients, drop us a line to get started.
A customer sent us a scam email that appeared to have come from a work contact. The sender's name was right, but the email address was not. The content read, “I'll need you to help take care of a task, Kindly let me know if you are available to do so. P.S: I'm busy at the mo
Not even your Google Calendar is safe from spam. Many people have found strange events promoting iPhone giveaways in their calendars; even I did! Hot tip: Don’t Click Anything! Read about how easy it is to stop this annoyance at Inc.
It will soon be time to consider year–end charitable contributions. There are so many deserving entities out there, how can we be sure to choose a legitimate one? Scams do exist, even in the charitable space, so use charity-checking web sites like
Check out our new Tech Tips page on the IVSComm website. So far, we’ve just got a walk-through of what to do if you encounter a browser pop-up warning scam. Soon, we will be adding phone operations videos. Keep an eye on that page and right here in the newsletter for new content!
If you have hangups about Amazon and privacy on its smart assistant, Alexa, you're not alone. Even after Amazon sent answers to a US senator who had questions about how the tech giant retains voice data and transcripts, the lawmaker remains concerned about Alexa's privacy practices. Read more at this link to CNet
Do you know anyone who has been relying
When you forget a shortcut or key combination, go to https://www.ivscomm.com/quickreference And download the quick reference guide you need when you need it!
But you don’t want the added expense of a separate analog line to support the fax machine? We can help! Consider getting Fax-To-Email service bundled with your current IVSComm phone service. It’s an easy and affordable way to get your faxes safely and securely. Give us a call today to get started!
How would you react if someone suggested that you get to know your staff by taking one of them to lunch every day until you met with everyone in your department? Would you be willin
“Artificial intelligence has been a hot tech topic for years. As it's implemented into more solutions, small business owners will begin to use and interact with AI in 2019 more than ever before. That could mean a wide range of implementation scenarios, from voice assistants to personalized customer experiences.” Read more at Business News Daily.
It is estimated that older adults lose billions of dollars to scammers each year. But there is good news—last year the Federal Trade Commission noted that older consumers are more likely to report they’ve been victimized by financial exploitation
How to avoid your data getting held for ransom:
After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7. So what should you do now?
You could upgrade to Windows 10. The hardware requirements are not much higher than those for Windows 7, but you will get the best user experience with a fast multi-core processor and 8GB of RAM. A new Windows 10 user license will cost $140-$200 if purchased direct from Microsoft.
You could just keep using Windows 7. After support ends, there will be no more system or feature updates made available from Microsoft. That could pose security risks, even if you keep your security software up to date.
Our takeaway—if you are using older hardware running Windows 7, bite the bullet and get a new PC running Windows 10 for the best user experience. If you are using a fairly new PC, or one with higher-end hardware, upgrade to Wind
Now is a good time to revisit your technology replacement policy. Tech assets like PCs and phones will lose value and performance over time. The right time to replace them is before their performance makes them frustrating to use every day. A PC’s average useful life is estimated at 3 to 5 years and is influenced by original quality, care, environment, and other factors. Desk phones can last indefinitely, but like all electronics, have an average useful life of their components - typically 5 to 8 years. Often, even if current equipment is still functioning well, it is a good idea to plan replacement of tech assets due to the enhanced features of the new versions.
We don’t like to think about the taxes due this month, but we need to be aware of scams. The IRS listed their top twelve scams this tax season, with references to the relevant publications.
Latency: The time it takes for a packet to reach its destination. Higher delay times can be an issue, especially for VoIP, where voice delay can be recognized with latency higher than 150 milliseconds. Higher than 500 milliseconds and the conversation is going to be very problematic.
Attendant (Auto Attendant): An automatic response system, such as a voice presenting options such as press 2 for sales, 5 for Lisa, etc., which handles incoming calls and sends them to the appropriate phone or message.
Bandwidth: Usually measured in 1000 bits per second (kbps), it is the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period.
A recent article in ZDNet (linked here) details how attacks in 2018 progressed from one infected PC to compromise the network in as little as 20 minutes. Your take-aways:
Keeping your identity safe online has become very challenging these days. One way to make sure your account doesn’t get hacked is to use two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA works like this: When you request to login to a website, you put in your username and password as usual. The website sends a text message that contains a one-time-use code to your phone. You type the code into a text box on the website and you are ready to go. So to help keep you safe online, use strong passwords and implement 2FA whenever possible.
No, it's not a new strain of the flu. Since we are now in the midst of the flu season, disinfecting your phone is something that many people do on a regular basis to keep from getting sick. While important, there is a wrong way and a right way to clean your phone.
Many years ago, we ha
From the FCC Guide for Consumers
As IVSComm enters our 11th year, we realize this milestone was made possible by the support of clients, friends, and associates like you. We offer our thanks, and wish you much peace and great joy during this Christmas season and throughout the New Year. Please note we will be closed for all but emergencies on Dec 24, 25, 31, and Jan 1.
There you are, browsing the Internet, minding your own business, and then it happens: The red screen, the heavily accented recorded voice, and the feeling of helpless panic. It’s a warning from ‘Microsoft’ alerting you to the imminent loss of all your data from the plague of viral infections that have taken up residence in your poor, helpless PC. Well, it&rsquo
Q: Am I able to call 911 from a VOIP phone? A: Yes. The FCC requires that your location and number show up just like on an analog phone. Q: Since VOIP uses the Internet, can my phone get a virus or malware? A: Your phone does send and receive data over the Internet, but malware is designed to attack computer or mobile phone systems, so your desktop phone won’t be affected. Q: Speaking of Internet, just how much bandwidth does my VOIP phone use? A: Very little — according to the manufacturers, VOIP phones use much less than 1MB/sec. Your business network won’t notice the phones at all and your PC speeds will be unaffected. Q: Will my phones still work if the power goes out? A: Well, no. They need power, just like the phones you use with the service you may currently have with your Internet service provider.
No Problem! We offer fast, affordable repair right here at our shop! Just drop off the desktop or laptop and one of our techs will call you with an estimate. We will call you when it is ready for pickup. Its that simple.
The Yealink SIP-T46S Phone offers these features: • 4.3" 480 x 272-pixel color display with backlight • Up to 16 SIP accounts • Dual-port Gigabit Ethernet • PoE support • Paperless label design • Headset, EHS support • Wi-Fi via WF40 • Bluetooth via BT40 • USB recording • Supports expansion modules • Stand with 2 adjustable angles
Quote of the Month
So what do you do about phone scammers? How can you fight back? Some people, when they get a scammer on the phone, play dumb. They drag out the session, making lots of mistakes, all in an attempt to frustrate the scammers and waste their time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop scammers in the long run, and it’s a waste of your time. The scammer is still taking something from you. Other people prefer to confront scammers directly. They yell at them, telling them that they’re scum. This is also a waste of time because you’re not going to hurt the scammers’ feelings. They’re thieves, bullies, and criminals. You’re not going to shame them or stop them that way. And don’t forget, responding to them only allows them to gather more information about you. They still win. The best response to phone scams? Hang up. Or don’t answer at all. Let that call from an unfamiliar number go to voicemail. Block the number, and sign up for the Do Not Call registry. If the call is from someone you do know, or if it’s about something important, the caller will leave a voicemail. Don’t give the scammers anything. That way, they come away empty handed. That’s hitting them where it hurts. If you still want to do more to fight back, you can always report phone scams to the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org/ scamtracker). You can also file a complaint with the FTC (report online at the link or call 1-877-382-4357)—or, for IRS scams, call 1-800-366-4484. Adapted from jive.co
Sorry, due to scheduling conflicts, we’re canceling the 10 yr anniversary party. We’re every bit as disappointed as you are...
In 1937 the first electronic digital computer was built by Dr. John V. Atanasoff and Clifford Berry. It was called the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC). In 1943 an electronic computer name the Colossus was built for the military. Other developments continued until in 1946 the first general– purpose digital computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was built. It is said that this computer weighed 30 tons, and had 18,000 vacuum tubes which was used for processing. When this computer was turned on for the first time lights dim in sections of Philadelphia. Computers of this generation could only perform single task, and they had no operating system. (Source: Boston University)
Ransomware—its still out there, and getting more clever all the time. What can you do to protect yourself and your important data? First, keep all your software up to date. Out of date programs can be exploited and used as ways to attack your system. Next, and most importantly, don’t click on things. Nearly all ransomware is launched after clicking on a link to launch the infection. Never click anything you don’t recognize, and feel free to call a person to verify an attachment if you are not sure.
Yealink 960 Conference Room Phones are here! Up to three p
And we’re going to have a party, and you are invited! We’re planning on having a big bash on Friday, September 21, here at the office from 4 - 7. Stop by for refreshments, fun, and a food truck!
The first phone installed here in Saline was in 1881 at the Davenport-Curtis mansion. It was manufactured by the Holcomb company, and was used to communicate downtown to the Davenport Department store.
Summer brings vacations and BBQs, but can also bring strong storms and power events. To protect your sensitive electronic equipment, purchase uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), sometimes referred to as battery backups. A UPS doesn’t cost much, typically $40 -$60, and protects connected equipment from surges and brownouts. It also provides battery power to give you time to save your work and shut down when the power goes out.
Scams come in all sizes—they can try to contact you by email, take over your browser, or even call you. Always keep in mind that the language of a scam is just vague enough to let a victim fill in the details. The criminals never really provide any detail. Listen or read carefully, and always question the real intent.
If your Rural Reach Internet connection seems flaky, the first thing we recommend you try is to reset the antenna. The antenna is up on your roof, and has a black cable running out of it
Instead of picking up the handset and dialing the number, leave the handset on the phone and dial your number. If you have any errors you can correct it on screen. When you have it right, just press Send or Dial and pick up the handset when your party answers.
IP phone will have a dial tone any time it gets power. Dial tone is no indication of service.
There are many factors that can contribute to performance issues on a PC, such as
Backups are essential security for any business. Backing up online helps prevent an accident or theft from putting your data out of reach. Do you have a data protection strategy in place? If not, give us a call to protect your data now!
Once upon a time, new computers were shipped with recovery disks to use in the event of needing to rebuild the PC after a hard drive failure. Not anymore, though; now the manufacturers leave the creation of recovery media up to the consumer. Have you created your recovery media? If not, let us help you create the tools for you!
Wireless Internet speeds are measured in Mbps – Mega-bits per second, which means millions of bits per second. Data you request from the Internet is sent in 1s and 0s, each of which is referred to as a bit. One million of these bits make