Category Archives: Security & Surveillance

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Alarm Systems and Service

key panel, alarm panel, security system, security panelKeep your home or business safe with the people you’ve come to depend on for years!

Teleco South Florida is pleased to announce we now have the ability to save you money on the alarm system for your home or business. For over 30 years we’ve been providing our customers quality, dependable service within the Telecommunications and IT Industries delivering phone systems and computing solutions to your business. It has always been our goal to find the most reliable, affordable solution and provide you with the quality service you’ve come to expect from us.

We are now able to offer this same service to you in regards to the alarm system for your home or office. Our prices are very competitive and our products are both reliable and up-to-date with the latest technologies. Even if you already have an alarm system, we’re pretty certain we may be able to save you some money on service enabling you to either upgrade or enhance your current solution at little to no costs.

Would you like peace of mind in knowing your home or business is protected? Why not give Teleco South Florida a call today?

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Maximizing your 2016 Technology Budget

Is your 2016 budget already set or are you still having fun planning it? We didn’t think so. Everyone we talk to right now is looking for creative ways to “do more with less” but is having a difficult time making that happen.

Here are just a few proven strategies which can help you make the most of the dollars in your 2016 technology budget.

1. Don’t purchase technology – Nope… that’s not a typo, we meant it. The value of technology is in it’s use, not it’s ownership. The hardware itself is a poor capital investment because it loses nearly all of its value before you sell or dispose of it. By investing your working capital into depreciating assets, you eliminate the potential for that money to generate positive cash flow back into your business.

Two options to consider that don’t require the purchase of much equipment are managed services and Hosted VoIP (Hosted PBX).

  • Managed Systems – With a managed service model for phone systems and IT solutions, providers offer all the equipment, software and technical expertise needed for a company to reap the benefits of the system’s functionality without the costs, risks, and headaches of owning the equipment. There are many flavors of managed programs, but the best ones include some level of maintenance, remote access services, fixed pricing for commonly added items (i.e. wireless headsets), end-user training, discounts on future relocations and more. This allows companies to select the technology they need when they need it, eliminate financial risk and cost uncertainties, and get technical expertise and support from a team of specialists with extensive expertise deploying and maintaining the technology to a wide range of businesses.
  • Hosted VoIP (Hosted PBX) – With Hosted VoIP (Hosted PBX), the phone system server resides in the provider’s data center instead of your office, and voice and data traffic is routed over the public switched telephone network, or PSTN, to the hosted system. Since the infrastructure itself is offsite, Hosted systems offer Web-based access for configuration and routing, enabling you to define how you want calls to flow, view call detail records and billing information, listen to and delete voice mail, and more. It also allows you to seamlessly scale your phone system as your business grows and is a cost-effective way for smaller businesses to get rich VoIP functionality.

2. Determine which subscription-based communications services are costing you more than they’re worth – On the other hand, there are certain communications technologies that can cost you more to subscribe to than own. We often find that companies pay thousands of dollars per month for basic communications services they could affordably own and easily manage.

For example, if the bulk of your conferencing needs are internal, having your own web and audio conferencing system instead of subscribing to a service could provide significant cost savings. Since most outsourced solutions charge hefty monthly per-user plus per-minute usage fees, in-house solutions can often pay for themselves in as little as 6-12 months. In fact, by financing the solution, companies can even generate positive cash flow while putting an end to long-term costs. In addition, in-house solutions can easily be tailored to your specifications, thereby providing a high degree of flexibility not available with outsourced providers.

3. Proactively contact your carrier services providers at least 4 months before your contracts expire – In this case, what you don’t know can hurt you. If you don’t give the 60-90 days’ notice most providers require to renew, cancel, or change your service, you could:

  • End up stuck in a month-to-month contract with prices up to double of what you pay now
  • Get locked into another long-term agreement that doesn’t address your needs – with hefty early cancellation fees
  • Miss out on new voice and data technology that could save your company money & enhance efficiency

By leveraging decades of industry expertise and master agent status with over 50 leading carriers, Teleco South Florida can help you understand the solutions that best fit your business and make the most of your budget.

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Smart Devices?

BYOD – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Between the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 that was released in August, the iPhone 5 that hit stores in September, and the Microsoft Surface tablet that’s set to be released in late October, tablets, smartphones and other personal devices are saturating the marketplace these days.

While we enjoy playing with the latest and greatest technology, we also realize that this abundance of “personal gadgetry” is changing the way the workplace functions. Employees are increasingly utilizing their own personal devices, whether it’s a tablet, smartphone or even laptop, for work purposes. And business IT has to keep up.

As this Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) phenomenon becomes more and more integrated into the work world, it’s apparent that there are a number of benefits that come with employees using their own devices. However, it’s also clear that there are some major challenges.

In an effort to cut through the hype of BYOD, let’s take a minute to run through The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of personal gadgetry in the workplace —

The Good: Cost Savings, Employee Satisfaction & More

Companies that embrace BYOD programs and formulate a policy around it tend to see significant cost savings since workers pay for most, if not all, of the data and hardware costs associated with their devices.

Why are BYOD workers on board with fronting these costs? Two surprisingly simple reasons it seems — First, people who have multiple personal devices are already paying for them. They would be paying for them even if they weren’t using them at work.

Second, getting to use personal devices at work is seen as a privilege and a bonus. According to Pros and Cons of Bringing Your Own Device to Work, “Users have the laptops and smartphones they have for a reason — those are the devices they prefer, and they like them so much they invested their hard-earned money in them. Of course they’d rather use the devices they love rather than being stuck with laptops and mobile devices that are selected and issued by the IT department.”

Another benefit: Personal devices tend to be more up-to-date with the latest features and upgrades when compared to company-issued devices. Upgrades to a personal tablet, smartphone or laptop only have to be approved and implemented by the owner of the device, whereas company-issued IT has to follow time-consuming processes and procedures simply to upgrade old software to the next iteration.

Not only are these personal devices cheaper and more likely to be up-to-date, but they’re also more likely have the ability to become an extension of an employee’s work phone. The telecom industry is moving so rapidly these days that almost device has the ability to become an extension of your work number. This is made possible through a variety of SIP applications that can work with multiple platforms, including VoxNet UCC and the Mitel Communications Director.

By not having to purchase or maintain physical endpoints, companies can realize even greater cost savings and flexibility as BYOD extends into their telecom budget and resources.

The Bad – Murky Waters without Formal Policy

Though the benefits can be significant for companies that embrace BYOD policies, such practices can also bring up tough questions when it comes to outlying issues.

For instance, say an employee takes a smartphone that doubles for business and personal use on an international work trip. Who pays for its usage during that time period since the reason the phone incurs international costs is work-related? Or, what happens when an employee is let go but still has company data on a personal laptop, tablet and/or smartphone?

In addition, compliance mandates, such as HIPAA, SOX or GLBA, require that rules related to information security still be followed even if a company’s data is on a laptop owned by an employee. So how do businesses that need to adhere to regulations enable themselves to utilize BYOD and still remain compliant?

One way to combat some of the data storage issues and tough compliance mandates is to direct employees to use a secure, company-managed Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN can provide a company with a truly secure connection between locations since the traffic is fully encrypted from end-to-end over the Wide Area Network.

Whatever secure interface a company uses, it should also invest in a BYOD policy if it’s going to let employees use their own devices for work purposes. That means written and agreed upon rules and procedures for employees to follow.

The Ugly – Serious Security Challenges

By letting employees access private, company information on their personal tablets, smartphones and laptops, businesses are enabling their secure data to accessed, viewed and managed on devices that are essentially out of their hands – literally and figuratively.

BYOD gadgets are the property of your employees, who will search and click on what they want when they want and will add apps to their devices as they please. Who knows what kind of security software is on each employee’s personal device, or if there even is any at all. Simply put, this creates a multitude of walking, talking threats to your security.

In addition, tablets and smartphones are relatively easy to lose. If an employee is working with company data on a tablet and loses that tablet, consider both the tablet and data in someone else’s, possibly malicious, hands.

Though business IT cannot retain complete control of employees’ personal devices, it can control access and management of company files and information by utilizing password protection, investing in a virtual private network, as mentioned above, and looking into Hosted Token Authentication, among other things.

Hosted Token Authentication is a relatively simple but good layer of additional protection for companies with BYOD in place. For instance, with ETA’s Hosted Token-Based Authentication system, remote users must enter a unique PIN code they choose, a One-Time Password (OTP) they generate using a keychain-sized token device, and their standard Windows credentials to login to your network. Not surprisingly, this enhanced, layered protection doesn’t just make good business sense — It’s sometimes required by regulations such as HIPAA, PCI and SOX.

Along with these protective measures, it’s also important that business IT create a policy employees must abide by when it comes to BYOD. This is no easy task, especially since there is no real standard to follow in terms of creating and implementing a BYOD security policy. Businesses have historically provided employees with company-issued devices that come with an acceptable use policy and are protected by company-issued and company-managed security software.

To take on the task of creating a BYOD policy, it’s important to understand how your entire network – voice, carrier and data – works together to stay secure and run at optimum efficiency.

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Physically Secure Your Business Environment!

Are the entries and exits to your office-space open and unsecured? This can pose a threat to your employees and your business property as well. We’re also fairly certain you wouldn’t want unwanted visitors roaming through the hallways of your office!

Employers today need better control as to who has physical access to what areas of their company. Having a receptionist at the front entrance works somewhat well for visitors coming through the main doors but how often do people think about what access is being controlled internally? For example, you may have file rooms storing valuable customer information such as names, addresses and other important billing information. What about access to server rooms or data centers? You should really consider who has this type of access and whether or not it is relevant to their daily responsibilities.

Card Access Systems

Card Access Systems offer a relatively inexpensive and secure method of controlling admittance to these areas. These solutions are designed to give employers a means of easily granting or restricting which employees have right of entry to various spaces within their office and what days and times access is granted. Perhaps you only want staff members entering and exiting specific areas during normal business hours? This is easily attainable and can be configured by designated staff such as HR departments or managers. These solutions also present an opportunity to report on who specifically has gained access to certain work areas and at what time they entered or exited the room.

Teleco South Florida can design and implement a Card Access System for you that will address all of your concerns with a solution which will not only secure your working environment but also fall well within your budget. We keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and will advise you as to which systems will work best for your business. Some of the solutions we offer are badge reader access, key fob access (essentially a key-chain or token), finger-print readers and proximity reader access. We can also integrate video surveillance installations with the Card Access System which would enable you to retrieve video images from any given access point based on date and time.

If you’re thinking about the possibility of a security solution for your business, give Teleco South Florida a call today and allow us to present you with some alternatives to consider to protect your business.

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Video Surveillance – A Waste of Time?

We think not! Too many employers today think of video surveillance as a crime deterrent alone. We have business insurance, a pretty good legal system and a decent security structure in place! This is not all you need to completely safeguard your business! How about protecting your employees? Preventing asset loss? Guard the company against false personal injury claims and costly legal suits?

These are all legitimate points which should be taken into consideration before canceling your plans of installing a video surveillance solution.

Allow us to provide you with some key components to think about when questioning whether or not video surveillance is a good fit for your business:

Insurance Costs

Installing video surveillance systems as a part of your business can actually lead to reduced overall operating costs. The majority of insurance companies today will lower your premiums as a result of deploying such a solution into your environment. This is due to faster recovery of stolen assets, reduced crime and fewer claims against the company in regards to workman’s compensation and personal harm and injury on the job.

Marketing Advantages

Video can be used to monitor customer trends while visiting your business. Where are they spending most of their time? What areas in your company are attracting the most people? Conversely, what displays or products do your customers completely bypass during their visit? These are all valuable tools marketing personnel can utilize to change the overall customer experience and increase sales.

HR Tools

All too often, human resources personnel are hard-pressed to backup claims of bad behavior or poor performance. By reviewing video recordings at any given time, HR staff can easily recognize and document such activities. At the same time, video can also point out individuals that may be performing above and beyond what is expected of them in regards to their daily responsibilities. This allows your company to appropriately reward staff for outstanding conduct therefore helping to improve overall morale throughout the entire company.

At Teleco South Florida, we have highly-seasoned, trained experts in the security and video surveillance arena. Our engineers can quickly assess your security needs and formulate a solution best-suited for your working environment. We use top-of-theline, industry-leading hardware and software solutions and will provide prompt installation as well as training in the use of these valuable business tools.