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The Network Equipment Solutions Blog

Clever Ways To Leverage Your Business Phone Systems For Lead Gen

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 30, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Today's business phone systems aren't simply tools for talking at a distance. When modern VoIP systems are integrated into Unified Communications systems, they become part of both your business network and your overall Customer Relationship Management database. Today's business phone systems are true network appliances, and have a variety of features to aid in lead generation and conversion.

We've got some suggestions for how to make use of their features to aid in your lead generation. Obviously, your phone is not going to convert leads by itself... but it can help!

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Topics: Phone Systems

The 2014 Gigabit Ethernet Switch Review: Who is The Champ?

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 25, 2014 6:00:00 AM

So, it's time to upgrade your back-end and start serving up gigabit connections to your connected network devices.  Where should you start?

There are more options in business networking today than ever before, with at least a dozen major brands -not to mention the wannabes- all competing for business.  For a company looking to upgrade, it's actually a great time to be in the market.  There are gigabit Ethernet solutions out there for every business, large or small.

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Topics: Adtran Switches

What's the Difference in Singlemode vs. Multimode Fiber Cables?

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 24, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Which is correct for your network, Single-Mode or Multi-Mode fiber cables?

This is a question we sometimes hear from clients looking into high-end fiber upgrades, but like so many technical questions in networking, there isn't a clear-cut answer. Both kinds of fiber have different applications and different areas in which they excel. The difference is largely down to individual usage, not one being "better" than the other.

So, we wanted to talk a little about types of fiber, and when each is appropriate.

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Topics: Switches

What Do These Review Sites Say About Your Hotel WiFi?

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 23, 2014 6:00:00 AM

You're likely aware that there are plenty of websites out there rating hotels, but did you realize that the quality of your WiFi is quickly becoming a major factor?

According to a study conducted by Hotels.com, over one-third of respondents said that the availability of WiFi was their number one deciding factor when choosing between comparable hotels. That number goes up to more than half when looking at business professionals specifically. In fact, guests appear to prefer free WiFi over free breakfasts.

Of course, having WiFi is only part of the story - it also needs to be usable and reliable. Since, unfortunately, not every hotel offering WiFi actually provides it, that means websites are appearing specifically for guests to share their experiences with hotel WiFi.

Let's look at the top sites... Your hotel might be on them!

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Topics: Secure Wireless Network, Hospitality Wi-Fi Solutions

How Outdated Hotel WiFi Systems Leave You Vulnerable To Lawsuits

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 18, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Poor WiFi implementation can leave you open to a lot more than just spyware. Is your hotel WiFi secured against the legal threats it may face?

It's something a lot of hotels don't realize, or don't want to acknowledge: You can be held legally liable for activity undertaken by users on your WiFi system. In other situations, you could also be liable for data intrusions and, especially, theft of customer records.

WiFi is a great option for expanding the appeal of your hospitality business, as well as for improving internal productivity. However, like any change to a business, it has to be well-implemented with an eye towards security to ensure that it remains a benefit to your organization, rather than turning into a liability.

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Topics: Secure Wireless Network, Wifi Antenna

What To Look For In Cisco Compatible Optical Transceivers

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 17, 2014 6:00:00 AM

The Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) optical transceiver is one of the workhorses of modern networking. These interchangeable units are designed to slip into the SFP port of your routers and switches to provide a wide range of inputs beyond those directly supported by the switch. The right SFP can, for a small cost, avoid a much bigger set of upgrades if you end up with a case of mis-matched cabling.

The best thing about SFPs is that there're hot-swappable most of the time. SFPs can be put in and out of networking equipment at will, allowing for quick and easy "side-grades" (as opposed to up-grades) when your connectivity needs change. Your hardware automatically re-configures itself based on the SFP plugged in.

One common question we hear is whether one has to use a Cisco SFP with Cisco hardware. The answer is "not really," although that's not the answer Cisco likes to give.

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Topics: Cisco Equipment, Cisco Compatible Optics

Cisco SFP: Can You Use a 3rd Party SFP With Catalyst Switches?

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 16, 2014 6:00:00 AM

When we're doing support for clients, or recommending cost-cutting measures for upgrading their networks, one problem we often run into involves the Cisco Catalyst line of switches, and using a Cisco compatible SFP with them.

The Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) transceiver is an absolutely standardized technology, which allow Gigabit optical ports to host a variety of other connections.  Its hot-swapability means that it's simple to change the configuration of your switch or router, with minimal upgrade costs.

Theoretically, any Cisco compatible SFP should be able to work in any network hardware.  Unfortunately, some people run into issues using third-party SFPs with the Cisco Catalyst Line.

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Topics: Cisco Compatible Optics, Cisco Switches

The Best Hotel Wireless Access Points

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 11, 2014 6:00:00 AM

As one of the west coast's premiere networking consultants, we're often approached by larger businesses, such as those in hospitality, about the challenges of implementing effective WiFi on their premises.  Such discussions usually involve which hotel wireless access points are best.

Well, access points are important, but they're not the entire story.  At least, not usually.  By and large, the type of AP you buy will be dictated by the type of network you want to implement.  That, in turn, is based on how it's going to be used.   

So, choosing a brand of APs is one of the last steps in the process of outfitting a hotel with new WiFi.   The APs are determined largely as a result of what's changing on the back end.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, Secure Wireless Network

Using Your Office Phone System To Improve Sales Effectiveness

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 10, 2014 7:10:00 AM

To mis-quote Nietzsche, do they not realize that the phone system is dead?

For nearly a century, the "telephone" was an entirely stand-alone product. Its networks were kept separate from other networks. Telephone service was purchased independently of all other communications services. Any attempt to integrate telephones into a larger system, prior to the last few years, was a hugely expensive proposition which only the largest of companies could undertake.

Today, however? It's easy, and affordable for businesses of virtually any size.

In a modern, integrated, data-based network, your telephones become simply one more extension of your overall communications system. Voice conversations and voicemails become as easy to store, transmit, or reformat as emails are.

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Topics: Adtran Phone Systems, Phone Systems

Adtran Switches vs. Cisco Switches: Price Comparison and Breakdown

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 9, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Do you really need to pay the extra money for Cisco Switches?   ADTRAN offers comparable products, easy virtualization, and great customer service - and all for far less than what Cisco asks.  While there are specific instances where Cisco is a better fit for a company, most small to medium sized businesses can get a far better solution going with ADTRAN.

In fact, ADTRAN was formed specifically to help get new technologies into the hands of smaller businesses.  Cisco earned its reputation over past decades for being the real leader in business networking, but it's led them to a high-end focus.  That's left a lot of customers who can't afford Cisco, but want comparable quality. That's when we recommend ADTRAN switches.

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Topics: Adtran Switches, Cisco Switches

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