fbpx

Adapting to the New Normal

4 Responsive Solutions That Can Help Your Business

Your business network may or may not be prepared for the expanding telecommuting workforce. While working with automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers on their audio/video (AV) projects, there is a large increase in remote staff with bandwidth restrictions and limitations and some businesses could have a remote operations center in need of network connectivity and/or bandwidth upgrades. Companies are turning to cloud technology in increasing numbers and Microsoft reportedly saw an 800% increase in cloud services’ needs.

With the business landscape changing due to current conditions, things might seem uncertain but 123NET has four responsive solutions to assist your Michigan business with these changes: Hosted IP PBX, Fixed Wireless, Temporary Bandwidth Upgrades for Dedicated Internet and Ethernet and SD-WAN. These are the following industries that have benefited from our 4 responsive solutions:

  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Local Government
  • Financial Services
  • Legal Services
  • Education
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail

1. HOSTED IP PBX

123NET’s Hosted solution, backed by an SLA and instantly scalable, provides reliability, affordability, simplicity, and connectivity for Michigan businesses out there in these uncertain times. This product has a reliable automated system backup that includes multiple providers for further redundancy. It has proven affordable for a company that has an uncertain financial future because of off the shelf package options, a lower total cost than a Legacy Premise System, monthly instead of upfront equipment fees, and no ongoing maintenance costs. Complete with a web-driven control panel, transferring existing phone numbers, ordering new phone numbers, a Softphone app, and easy desk phone configuration, simplicity is inherent, guided by a 123NET engineer.

The product simplifies your existing setup through on-site phone system footprint reduction, eliminating IT staff equipment maintenance and staff members’ support needs. Our NOC technicians complete initial provisioning, configure changes and troubleshoot with support 24/7/365. The Hosted IP PBX proves to be a solid solution for the modern-day telecommuting workforce in an uncertain business environment.

2. FIXED WIRELESS

Whether just needing additional bandwidth or providing network to a new location, 123NET’s Fixed Wireless with an SLA proves safe and reliable for Michigan businesses in today’s current conditions. It provides a flexible infrastructure and a large network footprint, including easy bandwidth upgrades and a quick install.

Should a business be looking for a temporary network solution, redundant connection, or a main connection, fixed wireless is great and could be deployed within 7 to 14 days. Alternatively, there is a chance to implement an off-net point-to-point connection, where we do not have a presence, such as a multiple location or campus orientation solution. For any Michigan business, fixed wireless can prove to be an invaluable resource.

3. BANDWIDTH UPGRADES (DEDICATED INTERNET / ETHERNET)

123NET’s Bandwidth Upgrades can be incredibly useful in bandwidth adjustment for Michigan businesses, who have increased remote workforces now in the wake of recent events. If equipment needs to be changed, we will work to accommodate that need. Since the beginning of April 2020, temporary bandwidth upgrade expedite fees were waived as businesses transition through this current environment. As business’ networks feel the strain of telecommuting employees, this remains critical to connect Michigan communities and businesses.

4. SD-WAN BY VELOCLOUD

For managing network connectivity with an increase in the telecommuting workforce, 123NET’s SD-WAN proves to be a robust software approach with lower operational costs and improved resource usage, particularly for multi-site deployments. Through this option, Michigan businesses can experience rapid deployment, redundancy, and smart per-packet and application load balancing along with flexible connectivity, where businesses can bring their own internet connection, utilize 123NET connectivity, or both.

With the strain placed on Michigan business networks by an increase in the number of telecommuters during these current conditions, many are experiencing latency, packet loss, and total connection loss. The world is changing without any end in sight. Businesses can be prepared to support their remote workforces by utilizing one of our network solutions.

VoIP: Future-Proof Voice Solutions

What is VoIP?

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is often referred to as internet telephony or internet calling. Essentially, voice calls are sent over an IP network, such as the public internet or a corporate intranet, rather than traditional phone lines. This network can also act as your business’s data network, simplifying network management by combining services.

Benefits of VoIP

VoIP pricing is generally very cost-effective, as it combines data and voice services over a single network. Furthermore, “local” and “long distance” calls frequently receive the same flat rate. By routing calls through the internet, VoIP can be used across multiple locations, mobile devices, and cloud systems, making it extremely versatile. Finally, VoIP is often easier to work with as lines are added with little configuration required and telecommunications companies are committed to continuing to upgrade and update VoIP services, though upgrades are less frequent with the advanced equipment VoIP utilizes.

123Net’s Voice Services

Many companies are making the switch to future-proof VoIP solutions. As they seek to cut costs, improve features, and grow their businesses, VoIP technology will continue to expand to meet demands. 123Net is the largest independent phone company in Michigan and has been committed to providing enterprise grade VoIP services since 2001. To learn more about how you can upgrade your business voice services to VoIP, with services including SIP Trunking, Dynamic PRI, and Hosted IP PBX, visit https://www.123.net/voice-services/

Why Data Center Location Matters

Data center location should always be a top priority for customers. Choosing a data center in an optimal location not only provides immediate advantages, it also prevents major headaches down the road. 123Net carefully handpicked an ideal environment for each of its four Michigan data centers.

Network Speed

While people may think that bandwidth is the only factor determining speed, that’s not the case. The physical distance from a data center to an application can significantly affect network latency. For this reason, many companies, such as healthcare companies, are seeking data centers local to their office space. These companies are gaining a clear edge over the competition due to the speed advantage lower network latency provides. While it could be less expensive to collocate further away, it is often not worth sacrificing speed.

Natural Disasters

Businesses that collocate in areas prone to natural disasters are playing with fire. Events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes can cause critical power outages, leading to crippling downtime. If the best data center option happens to be in a disaster-prone area, consider selecting a backup data center at a safer location, preferably on a different power grid.

Accessibility

Data center space should be in an area that is comfortable to reach. Personnel may need to travel to the data center to make upgrades and service equipment. If a data center is out of driving distance, consider the logistics of transporting personnel and equipment through the air.

Connections

Businesses can take advantage of data center connectivity by creating multiple channels that will keep data moving freely despite outages. This makes data centers in well-connected areas safer and more reliable. It also gives businesses more room for growth, as they can easily make plenty of connections within the data center itself.

123Net’s three Southfield data center facilities have a superior location. They have access to more than 20 carriers, are in low-risk southeastern Michigan and close to thousands of Metro Detroit businesses. 123Net also has secure, easily accessible data center space in Grand Rapids that makes for premier primary or backup colocation space. Learn more about the strategic advantages you can gain from data center location or to schedule a tour of our data centers, visit: https://www.123.net/data-center/

How IP Failover Protects Networks

Backup solutions, such as IP Failover, avoid network downtime, keeping your business connected and productive. It’s immediate and cost-effective, so your business continues generating revenue and preserves its reputation, regardless of unforeseen circumstances.

How It Works

IP Failover equipment is backed by an intelligent system designed to detect Internet service disruptions. If a problem with the Internet is detected, traffic is automatically transitioned to a predetermined backup connection. Customers are seamlessly routed back to the primary when Internet is restored.

Since 123Net handles public IP addressing, real-time applications are not interrupted during circuit outages. VoIP calls will remain intact. IP Failover is even compatible with MPLS network configurations. Customers can also opt to use a secondary connection from another carrier and 123Net will build virtual circuits over it.

Last-Mile Protection

When primary and secondary connections are transported through the same medium (i.e. physical cables), it leaves enterprises in a vulnerable position. 123Net’s flexible solution is compatible with multiple Fiber, Fixed Wireless, Ethernet over Copper, and 4G LTE connections. This diversity protects network connectivity during damages to physical cables caused by construction, car crashes, weather, and other uncontrollable events. IP Failover can also be used to maintain connectivity during circuit maintenance.

IP Failover With 4G LTE

4G LTE is a wireless backup solution that integrates perfectly with IP Failover equipment. 4G LTE offers:

  • High Availability: Utilizing nationwide wireless providers, 123Net’s 4G LTE delivers high-speed Internet access to remote sites that may not be able to access traditional backup services.
  • Rapid Deployment: 123Net’s 4G LTE is typically up and running within only 7 to 14 days.
  • Simplified Billing: Receiving a primary and secondary connection from the same provider simplifies billing and bookkeeping, so you can focus on business-critical tasks.
  • Cost-Effective Rates: Low monthly plans without repair costs.
  • Reliability: 4G LTE provides a redundant connection that is not prone to physical disruptions.

123Net’s IP Failover solution combines high-speed Internet connectivity with immediate, flawless network protection. With IP Failover in place businesses have the peace of mind that their network is protected from the unexpected.

Learn more about how you can protect your connectivity with 123Net’s IP Failover.

7 Essential Considerations for Choosing Your Business Internet Service Provider

When it comes to choosing an Internet service provider (ISP), there are a lot of options out there. So how do you know you’re making the right choice? In this blog, we’ll take a look at the 7 most essential considerations for choosing your business ISP.

1. Need for Speed:

Bandwidth needs come down to what your business does. If your business runs small programs and emailing, you probably won’t need much. If your employees send large files and graphics, you’ll probably need a bit more. If you have a lot of employees online at once, or if you do a lot of streaming, video conferencing, or cloud computing, you’ll likely need more still. It can be tricky to know exactly what your business needs, but our Account Executives are happy to help. For more information about meeting your business’s speed needs, contact us.

2. Support Availability:

You know your business best, so find an Internet service provider that’s available when you need them, whether that’s around-the-clock, or during “normal” business hours. It’s also important to consider how you’re able to get ahold of them. Do they use an automated system, take phone calls, or accept support tickets? Make sure your ISP communicates in a way that works for you and your business.

3. Fine Print:

What Service Level Agreements (SLAs) do they offer? If you need 99.9% uptime, will they promise it? ISP’s that don’t guarantee uptime can leave you stranded for days while your business loses money and even customers. Choosing an ISP with a high SLA leaves your business in better standing should anything happen. It’s also important to consider what contract lengths they offer and the pricing discounts that may come along with longer contracts.

4. Bundling:

It’s far easier to work with one vendor than three or four. Many ISPs also offer other services, such as Voice or Data Center. When you bundle multiple services with your Internet service provider, you’re often able to get discounts. Billing and support are also easier, as you only work with one company.

5. Location:

It’s important to consider what types of connections an ISP offers in your area, such as Ethernet over Copper (EoC), Fixed Wireless, or Fiber. Each of these offer potentially different speeds and deployments. Knowing that customer support is based locally is also a consideration. When support teams service their local areas, they’re working with the business that are in their own backyard. Personal relationships with their customers lead to a more engaged level of care. A local support team also knows the area better and is more likely to be in-the-know about events that may impact service, such as inclement weather.

6. Timing:

Various connection types may also impact install time. High bandwidth Fiber may take longer to deploy, but it can reach much higher speeds than other options. Fixed Wireless, on the other hand, can be deployed in as little as a couple days. Choose an ISP that can meet your time table. If you need Fiber, but need Internet access quickly, you may want to look into providers that offer both Fiber and Fixed Wireless. While you wait for the Fiber to be built out, utilize the Fixed Wireless connection short-term. You may even consider keeping your Fixed Wireless as a back-up for Fiber going forward.

7. Security:

Keeping your business’s network secure protects your information, along with your customers’ information. Your ISP should be as devoted to your security as you are, if not even more.

How Does 123Net Compare?

We’re committed to providing the best possible service to our customers. With our Dedicated Internet, we have options that provide symmetrical speeds up to 100 Gbps, making sure you have the bandwidth you need to cover any business application. Our Ethernet Private Line keeps your traffic on your connections, and off the public Internet, so it stays safe and secure. All of our services come with a 99.99% SLA. Our Support Team is available 24/7/365 to handle your questions and concerns, and work in the same offices as the rest of our teams, so we’re always connected to what’s going on with your circuits. Our Fixed Wireless can be deployed in as little as couple days. It’s a great interim solution while waiting for Fiber and offers a reliable secondary connection for added redundancy. To learn more about our services, visit: https://www.123.net/business-solutions/

SD-WAN: Network Management Made Easier and Cheaper

As the use of cloud services and Software as a Service (SaaS) grows, more companies are looking to SD-WAN for network management. But what exactly is SD-WAN and how can it benefit your business? Let’s take a look.

SD-WAN, the “Patient Portal” for Networks

Most of us probably have a Patient Portal of some sort through our medical provider, such as NextMD or My Health Record. These portals allow us to login, view, and interact with almost every aspect of our health. We can schedule appointments, request prescription refills, read test results, etc. This provides a single place for us to manage our healthcare needs. Likewise, SD-WAN provides a similar single place to manage our network, where we can use a centralized location to put together controls, then send it out to the other SD-WAN devices in the network that need it.

What Controls Are Offered?

Intelligent pathway control features use application profiles, IP addresses, Quality of Service markings, and even time of day to shape traffic decisions.

Lowering Costs

By reducing the number of private links necessary and relying on bandwidth instead, you’re able to save money by focusing your spending on cheaper broadband solutions. Whenever private links are required for quality purposes, the service will automatically switch over from broadband.

Secure and Agile

SD-WAN is rapidly deployed, so your business is up-and-running without lengthy setup times. It’s also easily scalable, with the ability to add connections as needed. Even remote sites are easy to add. When traffic is transferred between locations, it’s encrypted, so breaches that may occur do less damage to your network. SD-WAN also monitors the amount and type of traffic your business sees, helping your IT team quickly identify attacks.

Improving your workplace and saving money is a win-win. See how 123Net’s SD-WAN solution can benefit your business by going to https://www.123.net/sd-wan