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    Conference Calling Services Explained

    Conference Calling Services Explained

    Whether you belong to a large Fortune 500 company or are in the process of starting your own business, you probably have the need to meet with associates, investors, or other colleagues. Conference calling will assist you in making these meetings manageable and efficient from any location.

    Conference calling is a service used by businesses that allows multiple parties to participate in a phone call, no matter how close or far away they are from the source of the call. Large businesses use conference calling services to communicate with associates across the country or even across the globe, making meetings effortless and efficient.

    For conference calling to work one company needs to purchase and participate in a conference calling service, either through a telephone company or a web server. When the leader of the conference call wants to have a meeting he simply informs all of the participants of the time the meeting will take place and the information needed to access the call. The called party can be set up to either have their voices heard or to merely be at the listening end of the meeting.

    If you are new to the world of conference calling you may be overwhelmed with the amount of conference calling services that are available. Like most new products and services you will definitely want to do your research and discover which service will best suit your needs and fit into the budget of your business.

    When choosing a conference calling service there are several features you will want to consider. First you’ll need to choose a service that will allow the number of participants you will need to use the conference call. Some providers allow anywhere from 25 to 150 participants. You will also need to consider which type of conference calling will be most efficient and convenient for your needs. Reservation-less conference calling for instance does not utilize an operator so you can schedule the call at your convenience. Web conference calling allows you to show data and presentations through a PC to other participants.

    As you research various conference calling services, do not be deceived by the word “free”. It is true that the actual conference calling service is free to you and the other participants because you won’t need to pay a fee for an account. However, there will be expenses in the form of paying the normal long distance rate that each caller’s long distance carrier would charge for the length of the call. The conference calling service itself is “free” but all parties involved will be spending some money on the cost of the long distance call.

    Conference calling services make business meetings easy and efficient by allowing all parties to participate without the hassle of finding a time and place to meet in person. Conference calls can be accessed by multiple parties from multiple places, so a business owner in Iowa could conference with associates as far as Italy, Jamaica, or China all at the same time. When finding your ideal conference calling service, be sure to do your research and utilize the best service for your business needs.


    Visibility.net ERP Solution Part of Technology Evaluation Center Vendor Showcase

    The Technology Evaluation Center provides manufacturers with clear rationale for using the Enterprise Resource Planning Evaluation Center including the ability to:

    • Determine the right type of ERP system for your enterprise, within your industry.

    • Examine how each solution addresses your management requirements. Some systems, for example, do not offer specific modules while others are exhaustive in their functional scope.

    • Designate crucial operating criteria that any solution must meet to be viable for your environment.

    • Analyze each solution’s capacity to support your company’s growth and operations, over time.

    According to Stephen Carson, executive vice president of Visibility Corporation, “Visibility is excited about being included in Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) vendor showcase. By being a part of their Vendor showcase the VISIBILITY.net ERP solution will be fairly represented for consideration by manufacturers evaluating and selecting software to run their business. TEC helps enterprises evaluate and select software solutions that meet their exacting needs by empowering purchasers with the tools, research, and expertise that help them make an informed decision.”

    According to TEC (www.technologyevaluation.com) ERP systems aid in the control and communication of business activities, such as

    • Efficient handling of order processing and production scheduling

    • Management and analyses of business processes within an interactive environment

    • Synchronization of activity within departments, such as human resources or finance, with the needs and output from production facilities

    • Monitoring, sharing, and tracking information throughout the organization

    • Maintaining records of warehoused goods

    • Dynamic control of the purchasing of raw materials

    • Automation of data entry processes

    • Synchronization of order entry, quote processing, and reporting

    • Reduction of the amount of time assembly lines are down, the costs of carrying inventory, production costs, and record keeping errors

    • Obtaining the most value from company resources and equipment

    Visibility Corporation (www.visibility.com) is a leading developer and supplier of business software solutions designed for the unique needs of project-based, engineer-to-order and to-order manufacturers. Visibility’s Enterprise Application solutions help midsize manufacturers of complex products operate their businesses effectively. Visibility has an extensive customer base throughout North America and Europe and has the strongest representation of ERP among complex manufacturers.

    VISIBILITY.net is an integrated ERP solution and more. Offering unparalleled functionality and integrated workflow, this browser-based solution cost effectively delivers the power of .NET-based Web services for use with either a Microsoft SQL Server™ or Oracle® database. Conducting business any place, any time, any where is a reality, deployable with unprecedented flexibility.

    Choosing a Computer Backup Approach for Your Small Business

    Choosing a Computer Backup Approach for Your Small Business

    Backing up may be the most important technical task you perform for your business. No matter what your company does, you’re likely to have critical information that can’t easily be replaced: your customers, employees, suppliers, or business processes.

    The essence of a back up is to copy your important computer information to another location for safe keeping in case disaster strikes. It may be the most important technical task you perform for your business. It is very likely that you have critical information about your customers, employees, suppliers and business processes that can not be easily replaced. A sound backup policy is a crucial consideration in determining whether to run any computer systems in-house.


    • Backup Approach

      The backup approach is perhaps the most important aspect when evaluating backup solutions. The reason: The approach determines the restore time, cost, and the backup products and services available.

      • 1. Partial / Data Only Backup

        Only the key data directories/folders or files you specify are backed up.

        You will need to review all your software to determine how and where your important data is stored.

        • Backup Storage Space

          You only need to backup the specific data you need so the storage space may be significantly less than your hard drive capacity.

        • Restore Time

          If only a few files need to be restored, recovery will be quick. However, if a full restore is needed where operating system software and other applications need to be reinstalled and reconfigured, it could take days.

      • 2. Full / Disk Image Backup

        The entire contents of a hard drive are copied or cloned.

        You don’t need to review all your software to locate key data because everything will be backed up. Data corresponds directly to backup time so more data means increased backup time and storage needs.

        • Backup Storage Space

          Since the operating system, other software applications and data will be backed up, the backup will represent the entire contents of your disk drive.

        • Restore Time

          Full restores can be done very quickly since you will not have to reinstall or reconfigure any applications. Most software also allows for quick single file restores as well.

    • Data Failure Events

      Below are the two main types of failures you may encounter:

      • 1. File Failure–A file has been accidentally deleted or has become corrupted. In this case, it is ideal to have multiple backup versions of the files in case you need to find an older copy that has not been corrupted. The file will need to be restored or the application reinstalled.

      • 2. Disk Failure–The computer is out of commission due to a hardware or software problem, fire, flood or theft. Unless the hard disk drive can be fixed or installed on another computer, a full restore will be needed. The operating system, applications, configuration settings and data will need to be restored.

        Note: There is an approach called RAID, (redundant array of independent disks) that can help protect against drive failures. While RAID is not technically a backup, it can keep you going in the event of a disk failure.

    • Ideal Backup Qualities
      • Be simple to use and manage
      • Allow a restore in time to meet business needs
      • Be regularly transported offsite to protect against a site disaster
      • Be verifiable
      • Provide for multiple restore points


    • Encryption

      Backup files are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.

    • Remote Access

      Access backed up files remotely via the Internet.

    Implementation Options

    1. In-House Backup Solution

    You or a hired technology service provider will evaluate, purchase, implement, and maintain the backup hardware and software within your business.

    2. Internet Backup Service

    The software and the infrastructure to perform backups are provided by an Internet-based company. While a few services do advertise disk image backups, the truth is that most Internet backup services perform selective or data-only backups.


    The best way to go about settling on a backup strategy is to evaluate how each computer is used in the business. It is best to create a document to keep track of all your computers and some of the vital information. To find how vital a computer is to your business and what a recovery may involve you need to know (1) how many people use it, (2) what programs are used and (3) whether the original software is still available so it can be reinstalled. In general, computers should fall into the following main categories:

    • Desktop/Laptop

      Partial or data-only backups are the most common. If an Internet connection is present, then an Internet backup will likely be cheaper and less of a hassle than an in-house solution.

    • Server

      Depending on the business importance, it may be appropriate to perform both disk image and data backups, if a faster restore time will be needed. Servers may also contain more applications that may be difficult to reinstall and reconfigure. In-house implementation is usually the better choice, because Internet backup services are currently more geared towards limited data. RAID is also commonly used on servers to eliminate the possibility of disk failure which reduces your overall risk significantly. An alternative option would be to use a hosted server that includes managed backups.

    Related Tips

    • Tip 1 – Temporary Options

      Any backup is better than no backup. Here are some simple ways to make a copy of files to protect your business data:

      Local options

      • Use a thumb drive—aka a Flash drive—with capacities into the Gigabytes now
      • Use CD’s, DVD’s, spare hard drives

      Internet options

      • Make the most of attachments: many Internet services like Yahoo include a briefcase where you can upload files

      • Email Attachments: You can always email yourself a file or even a zipped-up folder containing several files.

    • Tip 2 – Central Backup Location for Everyone

      If you are trying to back up several machines and driving yourself crazy trying to track down the files, consider letting the users do it for you. Designate a computer or server to be the backup source and give each person a directory. Then, tell each user to copy their files periodically to the server or risk losing data.

    • Tip 3 – Common Directories on Each Computer

      If you are trying to help back up several machines it can also help to impose some common standards by creating standard directories e.g. c:userword; c:userexcel so you will not have to guess where user files are located. You will also want to make sure that the preferences for applications are updated to save all types of files in the new directories.

    Full Article


    Remote Support Services – Are They Really Useful

    Remote Support Services – Are They Really Useful?

    Nowadays, businesses of all sizes are turning towards server consultancy and online support services for handing the maintenance and repairs of their computer systems and servers. But are these services really useful? The answer is definitely YES!
    With these services, organizations no longer have to worry about maintaining their servers and systems or getting them repaired during times of emergency. It is especially beneficial for the small sized organizations which do not have their own technical support team.
    The technicians which offer the remote support services are expert in their field and know how to solve different problems quickly and efficiently. They work as per the requirements of the clients and not only do the repair and maintenance work, but predict fore coming emergencies and stay prepared with the best solutions as well. In short, the support technicians put in effort for improving the overall efficiency of the computer systems and servers of their clients.
    The other factors responsible for the growing popularity of server consultancy and online support include rising complexity in the field of technology and convenience offered by these services. An organization which buys these services get technical support of high quality in the office itself as technical experts take over their system and server administration remotely and repair all the problems quickly and efficiently.
    Although located in different locations, while repairing a computer system, the remote computer technicians are able to view everything that is in the computer being repaired, on his computer screen. This is done through desktop sharing. With the advanced technology, both the technician and the user are able to have a control of the system which is being repaired.

    Due to the rising demands of remote support, a number of service providers offering these services have popped out in the market. Some of these services providers offer the services at very low prices. However, while choosing a service provider for yourself, you should always go for the one which is reliable and has a good reputation in the market. This will ensure that you get the best services at the best prices, and there is no breach of security.

    Apex Voice Communications Announces Support for Python

    Apex Voice Communications Announces Support for Python

    A global supplier of carrier-grade, multi-service SIP Application Servers for voice and video enhanced services, today announced support for the Python Programming Language (www.python.org) for its OmniVox3D SIP Application Server. Telephony and Web developers now have the option of scripting applications completely in Python, and implementing it on OmniVox3D, further reducing the time and effort required to bring IVR and other voice and video enhanced services to market. Python is an object-oriented programming language that can be used for many kinds of software development, and offers strong support for integration with other languages and tools.
    The Python module of the OmniVox3D SIP Application Server allows for the rapid Design, Development and Deployment of Python-based voice and video services. It reduces the complexity and cost of implementing services by building on the investment already made on the Web and Internet infrastructure, and eliminates the typical restrictions of proprietary systems. Once a Python engine is added to a Web Server environment, OmniVox3D can be configured to simply send “sessions” to this Web Server by acting as a Web browser. The Python module can now also drive any SS7, TDM, IP or VXML browser in the market today, adding to its already robust feature set.
    “Python is a dynamic programming language that is used by industry-leading companies like Google, Yahoo, Nokia and YouTube,” said Elhum Vahdat, executive vice president of APEX Voice Communications. “It is used in a wide variety of application domains, including web and internet development, database access, game and 3D graphics, desktop GUIs, and network programming. This easy to read and maintain language is where the future of telephony web integration is heading.”
    OmniVox3D Supports Python
    In addition to the thousands of already freely available Python scripts to choose from, OmniVox3D provides an extensive suite of telephony-specific functions for developing applications. And if a function is not available in OmniVox3D, developers can simply write it themselves without having to break out into another language. By providing Python functionality, OmniVox3D provides a standards-based interface into existing networks reducing costs for implementing and deploying services.
    OmniVox3D is a multi-service SIP Application Server uniquely capable of delivering the new generation of wireless and wireline applications with the reliability, redundancy and scalability required for carrier-class voice and video enhanced service. With over 15,000 installations, across 95 countries, including more than 250 service providers, carriers and network operators, OmniVox3D as a Service Delivery Platform can process an unlimited number of applications, including Real-Time Billing (Prepaid), Calling Cards, IVVR, Short Messaging, Unified Messaging, Conference Calling, and Automated Collect Calling. Either as a standalone server or distributed across multiple platforms, OmniVox3D’s open architecture seamlessly integrates with third-party components such softswitches, media servers, media gateways and SIP proxy servers that are IMS, MSCML, MSML/MOML or VXML compliant.