Choosing the right solution provider or integrator for your communications needs is critical. Businesses are looking for good service and quality products, but in today’s slow economy, businesses are seriously weighing the total cost of upgrading or implementing a new voice and data solution and whether they will get a return on their investment down the road.Choosing the wrong provider orintegrator can be a costly mistake.
What should a business look for when they are in the market for a communications upgrade or a new solution?
- Look at the longevity and stability of the provider orintegrator you are considering. How long have they been in business? How many and what type of customers do they service? Do they have a range of partners that will provide any and all of the technologies you need now and in the future?
- Ask for customer references to find out about the provider’s track record of service. How satisfied are current customers with the level of service, including pre-sale interaction and post-sale support? What customer service programs are in place? A good provider will have a broad range of support options. Are there regular training sessions, demonstrations and support forums?
- Carefully review the provider’s product portfolio. Do they offer a complete portfolio of voice and data products that will meet your business needs for reliability, functionality and future growth? Data networking is critical. What level of experience does integrator have in this area? On the voice side, does the recommended VoIP Phone System have a failover capability, and is it flexible enough to easily add users in the future?
- Mobility, visual communications (video technology)and hosted services arefast growing trends that are quickly becoming necessities in every business. How does the provider or integrator address these? Review your current functionality and feature set and think about additional features that would improve your business. Is the functionality you require and desire already available, and if not, is it on the near-term roadmap?
- Determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). A good integrator will help you assess the overall cost of the equipment acquisition, the installation and the ongoing maintenance (operation).And, once the new communications solution is deployed, find out if there is a Return on Investment (ROI), a financial gain. In the long-run, will the new solution help streamline your operation, improve employee productivity and result in better customer service that translates into more revenue?
So, look for a stable company that excels in customer support and service and which offers a breadth of products that will meet your long-term needs. And, have them help you do the math, assessing the TCO and demonstrating the ROI of an upgrade or new solution. There are plenty of providers and integrators ready and willing to win you over, but if you do your homework, you will find the right one.
Yes, it’s true. The U.S. Government is encouraging businesses to buy equipment and invest in their future! Section 179 of the IRS tax code has been designed to make purchasing business equipment financially attractive. Under the code, businesses can deduct the full purchase price of any qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means if you buy (or lease) businessequipment and put into service by 12/31/11, you can potentially deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income!
This year, the government has further increased the allowable limits to help stimulate the economy. All businesses that purchase, finance and/or lease less than $2 million (up from $800,000 previously)of new or used business equipment during tax year 2011 can write off as much as $500,000 (up from $250,000 in previous years).Any remaining amount above $500,000 qualifies for Bonus First Year Depreciation. For 2011, the bonus depreciation is 100%, but in 2012, it will drop down to 50%, so it’s important to act now.
Leasing is particularly attractive since you will be deducting the full equipment price even though you will not have paid the full amount as yet. Your deduction may actually result in a profit! And, if your business wasn’t profitable in 2011 (that is, there is no taxable income to deduct from), you can carry the cost of the new equipment forward to a future year when your business becomes profitable again.
With just two weeks left in 2011, now is the time to move forward with your business communications purchase or lease. IP Communications Integrator Xtelesis (www.xtelesis.com) stands ready to help you upgrade your current system or purchase/lease a new one by offering a full suite of voice and data communications solutions for businesses of all sizes, partnering with leading providers like ShoreTel, Vidyo, LifeSize, Aerohiveand others.
Take advantage of Section 179 and thisincredible tax incentive before 12/31/11. Make yourmost profitable decision this year, and contact us today! One of our Account Reps will contact you shortly.
Educators agree. Technology is playing a major role in how students learn. Today’s students are immersed in technology. It is an integral part of their everyday lives, and as the pace of technology advances rapidly, schools are adapting and incorporating new approaches to education in order to make learning more engaging
In fact, video technology is already transforming classrooms all over the world. The sky is the limit as video conferencing opens up a world of learning possibilities by breaking down physical barriers and allowing students and teachers to interact with others outside of their classroom walls. Students find themselves more engaged and more focused as they go on ‘virtual field trips’ where they can see and speak to a ‘guest’ educator who is located off-site, but through video conferencing, seems to be present in the room. Imagine a video conferencing session with the author of a book the students are reading, or participating in a real-time virtual tour with astronauts at the International Space Station.
The realm of possibilities for using video technology as an educational tool is endless. In addition to virtual field trips, video conferencing can facilitate parent-teacher collaboration, enable distance learning for rural environments and allow real-time collaboration with other schools and classrooms anywhere in the world.
Vidyo Powers a Virtual Science Field Trip at the San Carlos Charter Learning Center
The good news is that deploying video solutions is easier and more affordable than ever through E-Rate, a funding program that helps U.S. schools and libraries obtain affordable internal connections, basic maintenance on internal connections, telecommunications services and internet access. The program is under the direction of the Federal Communication Commission, administered by the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC).
Video infrastructure, endpoints and K-12 bundled solutions from Vidyo, a pioneer in personal telepresence technology, are eligible for E-Rate discounts. Vidyo technology already costs typically 10% less than competing offers, but with E-Rate discounts across the product line, the technology is even more affordable. Join Vidyo partner Xtelesisin a Live Webinar on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 11am-12pm (PST) to learn more about E-Rate funding and the Vidyo for Education™ product suite. Video conferencing can cost-effectively transform your classroom into a multi-dimensional learning environment. Engage your students with this new approach to education!
To learn more about Vidyo and its array of services, please contact us or request a demo today! Xtelesis helps businesses of all sizes move forward with our wide variety of solutions.