A Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Phone Systems

Business isn’t what it used to be.

Whether you’re a remote worker, on the move or are office-based, being accessible creates business potential.

Gone are the days of relying on a landline to conduct calls: With virtual phone systems, you can take your office wherever you need to be.

Are you modernising your business to keep up with the competition?

New technology is sometimes adopted cautiously in the business world, especially among small and medium businesses. This is often because the combination of deployment disruption and a lack of training can lead to costly downtime.

Thankfully, virtual phones are a simple way to streamline business communications.

Virtual phone systems are an extension of your landline. All you need is an app to connect your office to your mobile phone, but virtual phones are more than just an extension of your office. They are a comprehensive business enhancement.

Need to check your voicemail?

All voicemails are automatically emailed or sent as a text message.

Out for lunch and expecting a call?

It doesn’t matter where you are, you’ll never have to miss a call again.

Got an important meeting and can’t answer?

Just because you can’t answer a call, doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be able to contact you. Alternate contact options are automatically provided when you’re unable to answer the phone.

Gain momentum and stay connected.

Without clients and communication, you’ll start losing money, so why forfeit potential business? Virtual phones strategically streamline your business communications to help you generate business, not lose it. Virtual phone systems can boost your customer-service rating, too. With immediate connectivity and foolproof call redirection, you can maximise your premium customer experience because your employees will always be able to do their job, without having to be physically on the job.

A virtual phone system will make your business unstoppable. Literally.

If you’re thinking about making the move to a virtual phone system, we recommend Vonex.

Reliable, secure and proudly Australian, Vonex is an affordable and feature-rich solution that will help generate profit and lower costs.

And with businesses across the nation being forced into remote working, we understand the need for quick and seamless installation to keep your business running.

Here are some further examples of what a virtual PABX can do for your business:

Call Parking

Paging Groups

Hunt Groups

Seamless Handoff From Desk Phone to Mobile

As part of our “Working From Home” offer, we’ll help you connect to a virtual phone system with six months FREE access to the Vonex app.

Go on, call us now…and because we use Vonex, you know we’ll answer!

Tel: (03) 9786 8763
Email: info@aspiretechnologies.com.au

Ten Quick Questions to Protect your Business from Cybersecurity Threats

As the world becomes more and more digital, cybersecurity poses new risks to businesses, big and small.

Overlooking your responsibility to provide a safe and secure network leaves you vulnerable to damage and disaster, but often organisations don’t know where to begin.

Cybersecurity is no longer just to protect your business from hackers. Your customers demand assurance that their data is safe. Quick migrations to the cloud amid COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions have seen businesses gloss over the security of their network. It’s your responsibility to ensure your information and network is secure, so don’t risk it.

Help protect your business by completing this quick and easy security checklist:

1. Have you completed an IT risk assessment?

Before you act, evaluate your current standing. Identify potential risks and establish how well your IT infrastructure fares against cybersecurity threats, after which you’ll be able to determine any shortcomings, allowing you to form a foolproof risk-management strategy.

2. Have you secured your network perimeters?

From firewalls to email security software, hackers have a sharp eye to gain easy access into your network. Securing your network perimeters will remove vulnerability from malicious infiltration.

3. Do you have effective anti-malware software installed?

Having anti-malware may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how little research goes into choosing the best anti-malware product for your situation. To work effectively, your software must be up to date and fit for purpose.

4. Are your systems up to date?

A simple but powerful way to minimise entry points for hackers.

5. Have you set access privileges?

Not everyone needs access to everything. Tightening internal privileges reduces the risk of privacy breaches.

6. Do you have a removable media policy in place?

USBs and hard drives are convenient, but they create easy access for malware distribution. In this way, threats can inadvertently come from within, so cybersecurity isn’t just about protecting your network from the outside.

7. Are you using a VPN to maintain mobile security?

As businesses move to the cloud, you need to ensure your data is encrypted across publicly accessible networks.

8. Are you using secure passwords?

Your IT infrastructure isn’t foolproof if your passwords are too simple.

9. Have you disabled any redundant access?

We’re often prompted to update our systems, but updating access is easy to forget. Keep a firm grip on user access to prevent unnecessary threats.

10. When was the last time you tested your back-up?

If you haven’t done so in a while, performing a periodic backup and test restore is essential. It’s time to make this a priority.

Need help getting your network security in shape?

We’re here to help.

If you’re unsure about how to handle any of the points we’ve made above or need a hand to tighten your risk-management strategy, call us now…and because we use Vonex, you know we’ll answer!

Tel: (03) 9786 8763
Email: info@aspiretechnologies.com.au

Is Your Remote Desktop Secure? Three Simple Steps to Protect Your Business

Google Desktop is a new technology allowing businesses to remotely access their work desktop from home for free.

But as COVID-19 restrictions push organisations to remote working practices, many are setting up Google Desktop without proper infrastructure or security measures.

The alternative to Google Desktop is called “Remote Desktop Protocol”. However, RDPs can be costly and are often installed without consideration of specific business needs, with not all businesses have the infrastructure that permits this technology.

So, Google Desktop is a cost-effective alternative to move your business to the cloud without blowing the budget, PLUS it’s free and completely secure. However, there is some risk involved around businesses making rash transitions without thinking about security measures, leaving them vulnerable to attacks.

Protecting yourself isn’t too difficult.

Here are three simple ways you can secure your remote desktop to maximise the security of your business:

1. Before you activate Google Desktop, ensure you have set-up strong passwords

On-site businesses are prone to using weak passwords when their IT systems are bound to physical premises. But Google Desktop is designed to be accessible, so passwords need to have maximum strength, which needs to happen before you start giving access to the system. With this in mind, perform a password audit to strengthen security.

2. Create security layers to boost authentication

Two-factor authentication is commonplace, but you can further enhance your security intelligence by creating other modes of authentication. Perhaps you only want users from a precise geographical location to access Google Desktop? Or maybe you need to restrict access privileges for certain teams or employees? Security should never be standardised. To prevent your business from disaster, you need a multifaceted, well thought out security system. Considering the different layers of your security strategy is a simple way to protect your information.

3. Establish company lockout and log-out policies

To prevent brute force attacks against user logins, you can automatically lock accounts after a specified number of incorrect password attempts. You can also automatically log users out periodically to ensure access is restricted to approved users.

Your data is critically important to both you and your customers. Google Desktop is a free tool that allows for a quick transition to remote working, but convenience shouldn’t comprise cybersecurity.

While we have been able to offer three ways to help secure your use of Google Desktop, we also recommend a consultation with us to determine the capabilities and vulnerabilities of your IT infrastructure. Whether you need a one-off system update or ongoing IT management, Aspire Technologies has a solution no matter your situation. We guarantee you’ll save money in the long run, and you’ll be able to continue business without any headaches.

Go on, call us now…and because we use Vonex, you know we’ll answer!

Tel: (03) 9786 8763
Email: info@aspiretechnologies.com.au

The Cloud: Futureproof Your Business with a Post-Pandemic Plan

COVID-19 has radically changed the way we do business.

With little notice, many businesses had to react swiftly to minimise disruption around new restrictions. And, instead of considering the long-term, many acted just to manage the present.

But is this the smartest approach?

As restrictions slowly beginning to ease, and if your business was forced to enable remote working, you could soon be returning to your office.  If there’s one lesson to learn from this experience, it’s that nothing can be taken for granted. Another wave of infections could strike, forcing a re-tightening of restrictions. The newfound normality of remote working could revert, forcing more traditional businesses to re-think their structure.

We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we do know that instead of being uncertain, it’s best to be prepared. You don’t want to fall back into old ways of working only to be disrupted again.

So, what’s your post-pandemic plan?

If you don’t have one, it’s time to start thinking about how you can make a permanent transition to the cloud. And, importantly, how to do it without compromising your current business structure or adaptability in the face of uncontrollable circumstances.

Look at the core benefits of enabling a cloud-based business, then get in touch with us for a free consultation to help determine the detailed requirements of your business.

Core Benefits of the Cloud
Migrating to the cloud can help you cement communication and collaboration as core values in your organisation

You’ve made your files more accessible. Enabled instant communication between employees. Streamlined collaboration to make it easier to work in tandem. By embracing the inherent characteristics of the cloud, you reap the benefits of enhanced productivity and profitability.

Cut costs and build resilience

You’ll save time and money on maintenance and overheads, but you’ll also boost the flexibility and adaptability of your workforce. No matter what life throws at you, your business will be ready to adapt, without breaking the bank.

Safe and secure

As cloud-based solutions are sought out around the world, the importance of cybersecurity has skyrocketed. So, rest assured that your business will have premium protection and safe access. Plus, the cloud is acclaimed for its high level of support and maintenance, meaning you’ll never be left out in the cold.

Customisable care

No two businesses are the same, and you’ll be glad to know that cloud-based solutions aren’t homogenised. Your business has unique needs, so your cloud software should reflect that, which means you won’t incur unnecessary costs.

Ready to protect your business?

We offer a free 30-minute strategic planning session to help you determine the best way to propel your business into a prosperous future.

Go on, call us now…and because we use Vonex, you know we’ll answer!

Tel: (03) 9786 8763
Email: info@aspiretechnologies.com.au

The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Teams: Moving Your Business to the Cloud


Has COVID-19 forced your organisation to accommodate remote working?

If so, you’re not alone, and there’s no need to worry.

Organisations around the globe have had to make the shift to the cloud, especially those without the infrastructure to allow remote access. But instead of thinking strategically for the long-term, companies have sought quick-fire solutions to manage the present.

Even if you already have the IT infrastructure for cloud-based working established, leveraging its potential is easier said than done. Just as cloud-based infrastructure provides flexibility and simplicity, your cloud solution should offer the same for your business, no matter its size or shape.

Thankfully, Microsoft Teams is a simple solution, whatever your circumstances, making business easier.

Even once we emerge from the global pandemic, Microsoft Teams will accelerate productivity, boost profitability and streamline processes. And that applies whatever your set-up. Whether you choose to keep remote working as the norm or move back to the office, Microsoft Teams provides a feature-rich experience that adds value to your business for the long-term.

So, stay ahead of the game with our guide to help you make the most of Microsoft Teams.

What is Microsoft Teams?

If you’re not familiar with Microsoft Teams, you’re probably familiar with the frustrations of collaboration, file-sharing and communication.

Wasting time sifting through emails.

Going back-and-forth with colleagues to iron out the details of an ongoing project.

Clicking in-and-out of different applications, turning multitasking into mayhem.

Microsoft Teams eliminates these problems by centralising business functions and streamlining communications, offering a range of benefits, including:

Clear communication and real-time collaboration

Microsoft Teams allows you to communicate and collaborate with anyone, inside or outside of your organisation. From instant messaging, brainstorming sessions, conference calls, team meetings and project management, Teams cover all bases.

“Microsoft magic”

Real-time access, editing and sharing for Word, PowerPoint, Excel or OneDrive documents cuts unnecessary time-wasting and boosts productivity.

Amazing accessibility

Teams is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and is accessible from anywhere and any device. Your team can work on the go without going insane—all you need is an internet connection.

Safe and secure

With multi-factor authentication, secure guest access and the same advanced security standards as the Office 365 suite, you’re in safe hands.

Minimal downtime

Teams is quickly deployable and simple to learn, meaning you can get it up and running with minimal disruption.

Tips and tricks for using teams

Teams can be turned into so much more than a meeting platform. You can actually add webpages, sharepoint libraries and even your other microsoft apps into the team view. This allows you to deploy all the resources your teams require from a single platform simply by adding them to the appropriate group.

Additionally using the wiki functionality is a great way to create a central repository for your workforce to reference for documentation, procedures and details, designated by their group. Again allowing you to provide everything necessary for your team to operate from the beginning by simply adding them to their team.

Make full use of the search functionality available within teams. You can search for specific people mentioned, files shared, subjects and a variety of other useful information from any window.

How do I get the most out of Microsoft Teams?

While Microsoft Teams makes business easier, it’s important to remember that a little strategy goes a long way.

To successfully deploy the platform without the headaches, consider the following:

* Is your existing IT infrastructure capable of transitioning to the cloud?

* Has your data been audited to ensure it can be safely and seamlessly transferred to the cloud?

* Have you mapped out a customised design to suit your business? Microsoft Teams is comprised of teams and channels but also employs third-party services such as Google Analytics, social media platforms like Twitter, marketing automation software like MailChimp and CRM software like Salesforce, as well as over 200 others. Not everyone needs access to all teams and services, so think about your structure prior to deployment.

*Are you prepared to train your team early to minimise disruption during rollout?

As you can see, while Microsoft Teams can be a quick solution, but it’s best to thoughtfully plan the transition. Instead of powering ahead in the hope of improving your business, we recommend some patience and care.

The bottom line?

Cloud services in capable hands can improve your profitability, productivity and security at affordable prices. If your business is thinking of moving to the cloud or trying to reap the rewards of this innovative technology, Aspire Technologies will help you boost your business and cut costs with a free 6-month trial of Office 365 with Microsoft Teams integration, with us working behind the scenes to identify your needs and deliver a seamless transition.

Get in touch today and we’ll help deploy a cloud-based service in a “cloud 9” way.

Go on, call us now…and because we use Vonex, you know we’ll answer!

Tel: (03) 9786 8763
Email: info@aspiretechnologies.com.au

IT Security

The digital landscape is always changing, and part of that change is the increasing volume and complexity of Cyber Threats.

Cyber crime has been steadily rising, with the emergance of Ransomware such as CryptoLocker and Wannacry, that has previously crippled businesses that were not prepared.

This is why we put such a high emphasis on Cyber Security. Ensuring that your network is free from vulnerabilities, with strong security protocols, managed firewalls and up-to-date patching to eliminate the risk of zero day exploits.

Your network needs to be covered from end to end, with real-time monitoring, regular audits, and a solid Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan to keep you running smoothly.

We get our guidelines directly from the Australians Signals Directorate (ASD) cybersecurity guidelines ‘Strategies to Mitigiate Cyber Security Incidents’, which contain ‘Eight Essential’ strategies to keep good security practices and procedures across your environment.

IT Security Services