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New area code coming to Alabama

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A new area code is coming that will affect your dialing, and we want to help you master it!
On October 12, there will be a new area code, ‘659’, for the West Central portion of Alabama. This will include Butler, Birmingham, Clanton, Hamilton, Jasper, Pell City and Tuscaloosa. Current 205 numbers will not be affected in this change. The area code 659 will only be used for new assigned phone numbers, but both will serve the same region.  When this change occurs, your dialing will be affected; seven digits will not work anymore. Instead, dialing 10 digits will be mandatory because at some point, your seven-digit phone number may be assigned to someone else using the new area code. Dialing only seven digits will prevent your call from going through. At Slappey we have always had one number that allows you to consistently dial only seven digits, but with this new area code, you will be required to dial 10 digits to reach us. The phones we sell, maintain and support will now also only work wit…

Penetration Testing vs. Vulnerability Testing Your Business Network

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Hearing "all of your confidential information is extremely vulnerable, we know this because..." is bad news, but whatever follows the ellipses determines just how bad. Consider two scenarios."All of your confidential information is extremely vulnerable... we know this because a hacker took all of your customers’ credit card info and locked all of your files behind ransomware.""All of your confidential information is extremely vulnerable...we know this because we did a vulnerability scan of your network, and have some suggestions on how you can improve." 61% percent of small businesses are victimized by cyber attacks each year, and one in five victims do not survive. It is financially worthwhile to make sure that you end up being the person hearing the latter sentence.Scenario 2 describes the statement after you have had a vulnerability test conducted. A vulnerability test is a comprehensive audit of security flaws that a hacker could exploit, and the poss…

VoIP: Limitations and Challenges

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VoIP: Limitations and ChallengesWe've talked in our blogs about the advantages of VoIP technology in the workplace. It is important to also be aware that VoIP is not a technology that you buy out of the box. It is important that when you migrate to VoIP you get the assistance and support of a managed service provider. VoIP is feature-rich, but it is also complex. For instance, VoIP can allow for high definition calls using G.722. The quality difference is fantastic. However, G.722 has limited availability. Old telco lines cannot carry this standard. Also, when calls move from one mobile carrier to another, HD is lost and the call drops back to G.711. Finally, before you adopt G.722 HD calling, keep in mind that this means your voice packets are traveling over the open internet, which creates very real security concerns. Utilization of HD means you will need to develop security protocols and use encryption.

Another thing to be aware of with VoIP: segregate bandwidth to ensure su…

Benefits of Using VoIP Technology

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Benefits of Using VoIP TechnologyMore and more businesses are implementing Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP technology because of its versatility, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. With new developments in this technology, the scope of its applications is widening. It is becoming more than just voice communications technology. That is why businesses of all sizes are migrating at an increasing rate. Here is a short list of some of the benefits.

Versatility/Flexibility: There are many VoIP service companies that have been working feverishly to enhance the use of this technology. They are bundling up other communication applications into a single unified communication platform to increase the efficiency for businesses. This means all modes of communication such as voice, fax, video, web conferencing and emails can be utilized, using a single software application. The ability of this application to convert voice into an email or fax into an email can bring a tremendous amount of effi…

Costs Savings and VoIP

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Costs Savings and VoIPIn the last blog we talked a little bit about some of conveniences and flexibility that Voice over Internet technology can offer your employees. However, flexibility is not the only advantage: VoIP offers several opportunities for cost reductions.

First of all, VoIP systems may require less capital investment than older PBX technologies because they are reliant less on hardware and more on software. You aren't spending as much for physical on-site hardware. You also have lower external support costs. Because a PBX needed to be re-configured every time you added or deleted a user or phone number, or moved a phone’s physical location, users had to pay for the PBX manufacturer’s support operation to make a service call. Even if the service could be handled by an in house IT employee, they would have had to go through expensive training and each of the re-configurations would be time consuming. With VoIP, configurations are handled via interfaces accessible on …

BYOD: Why is This Concept So Attractive to Employees?

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BYOD: Why is This Concept So Attractive to Employees?Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, to work was an idea a few years ago that is becoming a reality very fast. To use your personal smartphone, tablet or laptop for work seems increasingly natural. Employees are embracing this concept without any serious reservations. As more and more business activity becomes technology driven, to have electronic gadgets right by your side all the time make sense. According to a survey conducted by Logicalis about 75% of employees in high growth markets such as Brazil and Russia and 44% in developed markets bring their own devices to work.

Let's examine all the factors causing people to want to use their own devices at work.Familiarity: This may be the most relevant reason for someone to bring their own tablet or laptop to work. It may be the operating system, web browser, or other apps on their devices that they know so well and feel comfortable using.Convenience: Companies have been providing their…

What does VoIP offer your employees?

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What does VoIP offer your employees?VoIP, the acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol, can offer a lot of great conveniences for your employees that make their work environment dramatically more flexible and user-friendly. VoIP offers many features that just are not possible using more traditional PBX systems that have been the mainstay of commercial telephony for decades.

First of all, VoIP systems provide each end-user with a range of new features that transform workplace communications. Because voice signals are now carried by packets and their movement is not limited to the restrictions of specific telephone “lines,” VoIP allows for dramatic new communication options. Here are just a few examples. A user can forward the desk phone to a mobile phone. The user can also set rules for forwarding. All calls can be forwarded to voicemail after a certain time. Specific numbers can be forwarded to a mobile phone or to voicemail. More intriguingly, telephone messages can be transformed…