VoIP – The Future of Phone Technology

Posted on: September 21st, 2012 by DPhayre

The telephone has been an important tool for businesses communication since shortly after its invention in the late 19th century. With its ability to provide real-time, transcontinental communication, the telephone revolutionized the speed at which business takes place.

 Even with the invention of the personal computer and email, the telephone still reigns supreme. While many transactions take place via email in a manner more similar to telephone’s predecessor, the telegraph, email cannot replicate the personal nature and speed of voice communication. It is clear that email will only supplement the telephone; it will not replace it.

 But new technology is merging these two technologies. Voice over IP (VoIP) technology is allowing businesses to harness the infrastructure of the Internet and implement fully-functional telephone systems without relying on the big names in traditional telephone service.

 Instead of relying on traditional telephone lines, VoIP runs through the ever-growing network of Internet cables. Because of this, international communication spanning oceans can be more reliable and cost-effective. Phone lines become congested quickly; Internet lines, on the other hand, can handle several orders of magnitude more data at a time. Compared to videos, voice communications take up very little bandwidth.

 Further, VoIP systems allow businesses to configure and seamlessly expand their telephone systems. While traditional phone networks depend on specialized hardware, VoIP systems can run on consumer-grade computer and networking parts. Making calls with multiple parties on the same phone network is much easier with computer-moderated systems.

 And VoIP systems allow businesses access to advanced features that traditional phone services cannot offer. Digitized voice mail systems allow users to configure their voice mail any way they choose; multiple greeting messages, automatic transcription of messages and nearly limitless message archiving gives businesses increased flexibility. Many VoIP systems allow businesses to use “virtual numbers,” which eases growth and helps streamline relationships with customers and other businesses. And the price of these features is often less than the cost of less capable solutions provided by traditional telephone system providers.

Businesses are adopting VoIP systems at an astonishing rate. From mom-and-pop sized businesses to the largest corporations, businesses are finding VoIP to be a worthwhile and cost-saving upgrade. Many speculate that the leading factors keeping businesses on old traditional telephone systems is familiarity and inertia; when its time to upgrade, businesses are making the switch to VoIP.

 

Use Gmail More Efficiently

Posted on: September 11th, 2012 by DPhayre

Many people use Gmail nowadays, and that is hardly surprising. It’s simple to use, free, and Google knows how to make a good product. However, if you use Gmail you may not be using it to its full potential. It includes some remarkable tools that make it easy for you to organize your email. Below is a description of some of those tools and links to pages that show you how to utilize them.

Label your messages: Is your email inbox filled with messages from friends, co-workers, bosses, and family members? It can prove challenging to keep track of these messages. Luckily, Gmail allows you to add brightly colored labels to your messages which helps organize your inbox. For example, you can slap a red “Urgent” label to all messages you need to address quickly. You can put a blue “Vacation” label on email messages relating to hotel reservations, car rentals, and other vacation-planning activities. If you’re conducting a job search, emails from prospective employees and networking contacts might include a purple “Job search” label.

Free up space with archiving: Do you like to keep your inbox clear of emails, but you can’t delete ones you have read because you might need them? Rather than make a bunch of different files you can easily archive old emails. Archiving emails sends them to an “All Mail” folder so they don’t clutter up your inbox but you can still access them when needed.

Add a signature: Everyone should have an email signature, it saves so much time because you don’t have to type your name and contact info at the bottom of each and every email. After you have created a signature, Gmail will automatically drop it into the bottom of your emails.

Filter your incoming messages: Gmail can automatically filter your incoming emails. For example, if you are presently accepting applications for a job opening, you may create a filter that sends any email with the words “resume” or “application” to a file you have created called “Applicants”. Or if you would like all of the emails that come from your supervisor to be labeled as “Urgent”, you can do that with this feature.

Jeff Grace makes the 2012 MSPmentor 250 List

Posted on: September 7th, 2012 by NetEffect

MSPmentor 250 is a list of the top managed services provider (MSP) experts, entrepreneurs and executives.

http://www.mspmentor.net/2502012-g/

Gaming Industry Expert Mike Amie Joins NetEffect

Posted on: September 3rd, 2012 by NetEffect

(LAS VEGAS)  – NetEffect, a Las Vegas-based, full-service provider of computer and information technology support and consulting services, announced today that Mike Amie has joined the company as its gaming and hospitality specialist.

In his new position, Amie is responsible for assisting in the management of NetEffect’s increasing client base in its gaming division, which was launched this year. On July 26, 2012, NetEffect was granted the first gaming license specifically for IT Service Providers by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The license allows NetEffect to provide management, support, security, and disaster recovery services for gaming board regulated hardware and software systems.

“Having Mike Amie on board allows us to quickly ramp up our helpdesk offering to gaming operators,” said NetEffect President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Grace.  “Mike oversaw a massive IT service operation for MGM. He understands the people, the technology and the processes.”

Prior to joining NetEffect, Amie served as the vice president of IT services and support at MGM Resorts International. At MGM, Mike oversaw the IT operations of 13 separate properties across Las Vegas and Reno. He also provided helpdesk support for properties in Mississippi and Detroit.

NetEffect is a privately held, full-service provider of computer and information technology support and consulting services for businesses. Based in Las Vegas, NetEffect was founded in 2002 by Jeff Grace. For more information, contact NetEffect at (702) 318-7700 or visit the firm’s Web site at www.neteffect-it.com.

The Best Online Music-Streaming Services

Posted on: August 28th, 2012 by DPhayre

Thanks to the Internet, most people pay their bills, seek out entertainment, and get their news on-line. So it is not surprising that music streaming is as popular as it is. Many people stream their music and there are a variety of music-streaming services to pick from. This is very advantageous as people always have access to their music, if they have access to the Internet.

But which music-streaming services are the best? Listed below are some suggestions:

Pandora:
Pandora is hardly a surprise choice, but there is a reason this music-streaming service remains well-liked: It’s easy to use and it can quickly introduce users to new music that they may not experience otherwise. The thought behind Pandora is simple: After logging onto the service, type in the name of a favorite artist, say “David Bowie.” Pandora will then play songs by Bowie and will also play songs from similar artists. This gives you a taste of other tunes which you might also like.

Grooveshark:
Grooveshark is a lot like Pandora. But you can also build your own playlists manually, all without creating an account. However, those that want to save their play lists will have to sign up for a free account. Like Pandora, Grooveshark also provides recommendations for songs that you might like based upon your past musical choices. Grooveshark also has an intriguing feature: You can help build the service’s database of music by adding your own favorite songs and artists if you cannot find them in Grooveshark’s existing collection.

Rhapsody:
Rhapsody has rapidly made a name for itself because of its huge database of more than 14 million songs. Users be required to pay for the service – $10 a month – but by doing this, they’ll be able to stream any song from the service’s considerable collection.

Spotify:
Spotify was introduced in 2008, and since then it has grown into one of the most widely known and used music-streaming services. Spotify is very user friendly and, like Grooveshark, users can listen to entire albums or decide to use the radio function.  One thing that people love about Spotify is its integration with Facebook. By using the Spotify app, it keeps a running list of the songs you have listened to on Facebook. Additionally, users can see what their Facebook friends are currently listening to on a real-time feed. This is great for those who are in search of new music if one of their friends has similar tastes.

Gaming Industry Expert Tim Frawley Joins NetEffect

Posted on: August 22nd, 2012 by NetEffect

(LAS VEGAS)  – NetEffect, a Las Vegas-based, full-service provider of computer and information technology support and consulting services, announced today that Tim Frawley has joined the company as its gaming and hospitality specialist.

In his new position, Frawley is responsible for overseeing NetEffect’s new gaming division, which was launched this year. On July 26, 2012, NetEffect was granted the first gaming license specifically for IT Service Providers by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The license allows NetEffect to provide management, support, security, and disaster recovery services for gaming board regulated hardware and software systems

“Having Tim Frawley join our firm is a huge win for us,” said NetEffect President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Grace.  “With his decades of experience and vast knowledge of the industry, we’ll be able to deliver an even higher value to the gaming industry.”

Prior to joining NetEffect, Frawley served first as vice president of IT operations and then as vice president and chief technology officer for MGM Resorts International. In these roles, he oversaw all aspects of the enterprise’s Information Technology across ten Las Vegas Strip properties.

NetEffect is a privately held, full-service provider of computer and information technology support and consulting services for businesses. Based in Las Vegas, NetEffect was founded in 2002 by Jeff Grace. For more information, contact NetEffect at (702) 318-7700 or visit the firm’s Web site at www.neteffect-it.com.

The Kinect: Inspiring Innovation

Posted on: August 7th, 2012 by DPhayre

It’s been some time since Windows was regarded as cool, but the Kinect may change all that. Initially designed as a feature for the Xbox gaming system, the Kinect is a unique voice and motion-sensing device. A version of the device also works with Windows-operated PCs, and shortly after the release of the Kinect non-commerical software development kit in February 2011, people started discovering innovative ways to use it.

Innovative Uses for the Kinect

At the Chicago Auto Show the Chief Marketing Manager for Nissan North America used the Kinect in an intriguing way, by creating a virtual tour of the enhanced interior of the Pathfinder. This worked out well as they only had the outer shell of the Pathfinder to physically display. Using the Kinect, participants could actually “see” what the interior looked liked.

Microsoft is cooperating with companies to create applications for the Kinect. This not only supports ingenuity but it puts the Kinect at the center of many of the most recent innovations. One example of a company that is working closely with Microsoft in this way is Boeing. Boeing used the Kinect to create virtual tours of its jets. Another example is a hospital in Canada. They’re using the Kinect’s gesture-recognition capability to swipe through CT scans. This reduces the danger of getting germs on their hands from a keyboard or mouse.

Kinect: A Solid Hit

Microsoft hit a home run when they invented the Kinect. The Xbox 360 was last year’s best-selling video gaming console, and they have the Kinect to thank for that. Since November of 2010 Microsoft has sold more than 18 million Kinect devices.

The excitement around the Kinect and its many uses can only boost Microsoft’s reputation. They may be on their way to moving into the “cool” tech company category.

 

NetEffect: First IT Service Provider to Receive Gaming License

Posted on: July 26th, 2012 by NetEffect

(LAS VEGAS) – NetEffect, a Las Vegas-based, full-service provider of computer and information technology support and consulting services, announced today the firm was granted the first gaming license specifically for IT Service Providers by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The license allows NetEffect to provide management, support, security, and disaster recovery services for gaming board regulated hardware and software systems

NetEffect was able to obtain the license due to a Nevada Gaming Commission amendment to Regulation 5 on Dec. 22, 2011. Historically, IT service providers have not been permitted to work on any gaming board regulated software or hardware.

“This is a significant achievement for our company,” said NetEffect President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Grace. “We already have a partnership agreement in place with Treasure Island’s IT department to support their non-gaming systems, and with our gaming license we now have the ability to do much more. Outsourcing IT services to NetEffect benefits the gaming operator because we can provide them with more sophisticated monitoring tools and better reporting capabilities. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

As a licensed IT Service Provider, NetEffect can monitor the gaming-related applications, automatically restart them if they stop, and proactively alert IT staff 24 hours a day. The data collected also allows NetEffect to provide availability and performance reports on these systems.

“We can help gaming properties achieve better uptime of their gaming applications,” adds Grace. “This translates to a better experience for guests, and allows gaming operators to allocate their IT resources much more effectively.”

With the new IT Service Provider license classification, gaming operators can enter into a technology outsourcing relationship and not have to limit it to the non-gaming systems. They can, for example, easily outsource pain points such as their helpdesk and onsite support through a dispatch model during graveyard and swing shifts.

The IT Service Provider gaming license does not permit NetEffect to operate an interactive gaming site, but if online gaming is eventually legalized, the license will allow NetEffect to manage the hardware, software online gaming sites reside on. Any interactive gaming licensee would have the option of outsourcing their IT management to NetEffect.

NetEffect is a privately held, full-service provider of computer and information technology support and consulting services for businesses in Nevada. Based in Las Vegas, NetEffect was founded in 2002 by Jeff Grace. For more information, contact NetEffect at (702) 318-7700 or visit the firm’s Web site at www.neteffect-it.com.

Factors Limiting Technology

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by DPhayre

Doesn’t it seem like we should already have jetpacks? Teleporters? Or meals in capsule form? We already have some impressive technology, like tablets and cellphones, which are small computers that we can carry around. We have GPSs in our cars to find our way around town and we can post an update to social media sites and reach countless people at once.

So, with all of this technology, why don’t we have jet packs yet? What issues are keeping us from making these technological leaps?

Building a Better Battery

First, there is battery power. The bottom line is, the batteries running our smartphones and tablets need to be recharged too frequently. A more powerful battery will permit us to run our gadgets for weeks at a time and then charge them again within minutes. This battery does not exist yet. However, it might be coming: researchers at Chicago’s Northwestern University are developing a far more powerful lithium-ion battery. If their prototype becomes commercially viable, it will probably be a game-changer.

Improving Internet Access

It may seem like everyone is linked to the Internet, but this is a misconception. Most of the world doesn’t have access to the Internet. Although this may not seem like it could hold back technological advancements, it does. The thought is that by limiting the number of people who can contribute to the interconnectedness the Internet provides, we are limiting the amount of individuals who can collaborate. Until the majority of people are connected, technological breakthroughs are not going to happen as fast as they could.

The Business of New Tech

Finally, there’s the business end of things. Technological progress is slowed by arcane matters such as patent law. Businesses take their time releasing new gadgets and services because they must first traverse a minefield of laws and government regulations. These laws are important. However, they must be clear and easy to comprehend so new technology isn’t bottled up needlessly.

The great news is that none of these limitations can truly stop technology from advancing. Just think ahead to the holiday season of 2020. Who knows what innovations will be waiting for us.

The Microsoft Surface – A Windows 8 Tablet

Posted on: July 17th, 2012 by DPhayre

Microsoft, the company we all know for its prolific computer operating systems has finally revealed details about its entry into the tablet-based computer market: Microsoft Surface. In an attempt to compete with the iPad, Microsoft Surface tablets are slated to be available sometime this fall.

The real departure for Microsoft with their new tablet is they’re planning on controlling the manufacturing of the tablets themselves, and branding them with the Microsoft logo. By doing this, they’re bypassing the hardware manufacturers such as Lenovo, HP, and Dell, which they’ve relied on for decades as a vehicle for Microsoft software.

The Microsoft Surface tablet will include a keyboard built-in to the cover and a kickstand on the back panel, giving it a similar feel to a laptop. The first tablets scheduled to be released in this product line will feature a 10.6-inch widescreen and will weigh less than two pounds.

During the initial release, Microsoft Surface tablets will feature a light of the Windows 8 operating system – Windows RT. Unfortunately, this operating system is much more limited than Windows 8. Tablets currently on the market are limited by what their processors can handle, and Windows RT is no exception. Any Surface tablet running Windows RT will be limited to using applications downloaded from the Windows Live marketplace, but in the near future we’ll see tablets running the full Windows 8 operating system with many of the same capabilities of the average home computer.

Microsoft Surface has plenty to offer and hopefully we’ll see all the advancements we’ve been promised. The big question is, will it be able to effectively compete with the iPad?

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