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Backup Need Not Be A Chore

Over the years many of our clients have only started to take backup seriously once they experience data loss or a disaster. There is no need to really discuss the importance of performing a backup as everyone knows this. In the past if a laptop was not connected to the office network it could not be backed up. And as expected, very important data may well be located on a non-connected device. So when that device is lost, stolen or simply damaged this can cost your business big time!  Moreover, if you were out of the office and needed to recover a file this would also be impossible because you were not connected to the office network or not the IT administrator. Mobile devices with business data and photos on are also now an important device to backup and manage. 
 

Cloud Based Backup Changes Everything

Cloud Backup solutions have changed the ease at which backups can be performed. Simply open an account with a provider, download an agent for your PC (Windows or MAC), and within minutes you can be backing up your data.
Cloud Solutions offers Backup2Cloud.  Simply register your interest and an account will be opened for you and an email sent with your login details and password.
Follow the instructions in the email and login to the portal. First step is to install the software agent of choice. You can select from Windows, MAC, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android, and Windows Servers.
The installation is only a few clicks and within 60 seconds your backup agent will be installed. The next step is to review the default settings.
Keeping the default settings should work for you however you can adjust the performance and bandwidth sharing, to continue or stop backing up when you are working and how many versions of files to keep. Source folders can be selected however by default the following are selected; My Documents, Desktop, Internet Explorer Favorites, Outlook, Windows Mail. Google and Firefox Favorites are also included if the agent identifies these are installed.
In addition Proxy server settings defined, block out periods (when not to perform a backup), exclude certain file formats, and to manage the open files plugin. Normal files such as PDF, Doc, XLS, HTML, JPEG, TIFF etc will be backed up. Outlook PST, Quickbooks, MYOB and other files are also supported.
 
Block Out period could be set for Monday to Friday say 9:00 am to 6:00 pm so files are not backing up when you are working. Alternatively you can enjoy Continual Data Protection by simply leaving the backup running all the time. 
The agent will perform a scan of your PC to identify all the files that need to be backed up. This process will take a few minutes and then the backup itself will start encrypting the files with 448 bit Blowfish Encryption and transferring them to the Cloud for safe keeping.  
You would only backup your data rather than all your programs or applications. You may have 10-15 GB's of data including your Outlook PST file. This would take more than 24 hours to send to the Cloud. However once the first backup has been performed only changed and new files need be sent to the Cloud.
 
Reports are available on how the backup has been running and warning emails will be received if no backup has been perform within the past couple of  days. 
The User Portal allows the user to check their own backup data, check if any errors have occurred and download any files stored in the Cloud. While the locally installed agent allows a data restore to be performed, a quick download can be performed from the User Portal. In addition files or folders can be shared with others if required. The ability to recover data by yourself, when and where required is a big advantage over the traditional backup methods. 
"All backed up data is automatically stored outside your office which is the best way" 
The User Portal is well designed and easy-to-use. It is possible to remove files from the Cloud only via the User Portal or share files with others.
 
The price of the Backup2Cloud solution does depend on the storage space in the Cloud. If you are storing files in the Cloud that are no longer required these can be removed. The backup agent provides a Clean Up Wizard which is designed to search for files that are no longer on your computer, but are still being stored on the Cloud.  You can then choose to either remove these files from storage, or keep them intact for future restores.  This helps you “clean up” your online storage space, and effectively lower your monthly cost.
"No point backing up if you cannot restore!"
 
Restoring data must be performed with ease if the solution is going to get the thumbs up. Backup2Cloud offers file downloads via the User Portal or via the agent a Restore Utility is available to allow the files or folders to be selected for restore. This is a great way to migrate data to a new laptop by simply restoring all the data from the old laptop. While the applications still need to be installed correctly, moving the data across becomes an easy option.  Chinese named documents are supported; backed up and restore without any trouble. 
 
"All backed up data is stored with military grade encryption at a data center in Asia"
 
Agent-less Backup. If you are running a Windows server in your office then the Windows Server agent should be downloaded and installed. This will allow you to create backup sets for Files, Exchange, SQL, SharePoint and VMware ESX. A primary Windows server can be used to backup Windows PCs, Terminal Server Desktops, and other servers without installing the agent locally on the machine. A very useful approach for an IT manager. A laptop and mobile phone may be the only devices where an agent need be installed otherwise everything can be controlled from a single Windows server.

For an easy to use and understand backup solution for small and mid-sized businesses go no further than Backup2Cloud powered by Data Deposit Box. Pricing starts from USD$19.99 for 60GB of data. Visit www.backup2cloud.asia for pricing details. Pricing is not based on users. It is based on storage space required. This means several computers or devices can download the backup agent and start backing up. This can include your office Windows PC, laptop, MAC at home, and your iPhone.
 
Is it time you finally start to protect your business data?
Cloud Backup server online Singapore hong Kong 

Yealink now offers an affordable video conferencing solution with a claim of unmatched quality and “easy technology” to install and use. The innovative VC series offers Full HD video conferencing features designed specifically for SMEs to find out a perfect balance among high quality, ease-of-use and low cost. VC400 Yealink Video Conference 

Yealink offer the VC400 for head office and VC120 for branch locations. We expect a personal edition to be available soon whereby people can join a conference from their laptop or or mobile device. The Yealink solution is compatible with solutions from other vendors in the market because it follows industry standards. 

From a techie point of view, the Yealink VC400 offers 1080P full-HD and was designed specifically for head office use. Supporting H.323 and SIP dual protocol to ensure good compatibility with mainstream video conferencing systems. The VC400 is equipped with an 18X optical PTZ camera so that users can enjoy 4-site 1080P full-HD video conferencing, as well as 1080P contents sharing. VC400 also supports dual displays, USB recording and playback. With an extraordinary video and audio experience, VC400 is a great choice for your business video conferencing.

 

 

If you have a customer services department or sales people that work on the road then a softphone install on your Windows or MAC computer may be the best way to stay connected with your office or colleagues. Softphones support both incoming and outgoing calls. All calls made between the user and the office would be free no matter where the laptop user was located. External calls to customers or suppliers would be charged to the company as if the person was sitting in the office.  


Softphones are available from a number of vendors. However we only support one brand of softphone with the CloudPBX. This is the Bria 4.0 client from Counterpath. This is not free software. A licenses can be purchased from the Counterpath web site at a cost of US$49.99. The softphone supports G729 compression, voicemail and call transfer.


We have user guides available to help configure the Bria client to enable it to connect to the CloudPBX service.


An alternative option is to consider Counterpath’s subscription model rather than purchasing a one-time license. Of course a one-time purchase does not cover upgrades whereas the subscription model would ensure you were always using the latest version of the software. Moreover, the subscription model allows you to purchase and centrally manage the licenses for other mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Tablet and Android phones. There is a minimum purchase of 5 licenses. These can be of any combination. Purchasing the Windows Bria client via this method costs US$34 per year.


In addition, we can pre-configure all softphones on the server side if the license is purchased via the subscription model. If it is a one time license then the user must configure themselves by following our user guide.


Another advantage of the subscription model for the corporate user is the license is transferable. This means if an employee leaves, the account can be disabled and the license applied to another user. Whereas, if you purchase the one-time license you may not be able to retain the softphone if it is on that persons computer.


Headsets

Jabra 150 Headset

When using a softphone the best results will be experienced when using a quality headset. Laptops do have speakers and a microphone so technically, speaking directly into your laptop will work but if you are in a busy location this will create additional noise. So a headset is best. You could use the headset that comes with your mobile phone or better still, consider USB headsets from Jabra or Plantronics. If you are a customer services department then a professional headset is strongly recommended.


Your IP Address


The CloudPBX requires your softphone’s IP address to be whitelisted in the firewall of the server. It is normal for a laptop user to be changing IP addresses every time they connect to a different network. CloudPBX supports both an OpenVPN client or a DynDNS Host address. Either of these methods would be required to allow a laptop user to send an approved IP address to the CloudPBX. This of course is only applicable when the laptop is located at a hotel or coffee shop etc. It is not in the office. If it was a customer service team then they will all be located in the office so this is not application as the office IP address will be whitelisted in the server’s firewall.


If you would like to learn more about using softphones with our CloudPBX service please contact us.

Skype offers business owners a “Skype business account” called “Skype Manager”. This is different to a personal Skype account you may already use today.


Skype Manager allows businesses to define their users and control each account under one interface. If an employee leaves it is now easier to terminate that account. Setting up a Skype Manager account is a prerequisite to this solution.

Under the Skype Manager a company can subscribe to a service called Skype Connect. This provides for a SIP trunk to be enabled allowing the CloudPBX to be connected to the Skype communicty thus enabled incoming (only) calls to be received from a Skype user without the Skype user having to use Skype Out, e.g. the call is free and technically between Skype users even though the call is being received by a PBX and not the Skype software you may currently use.
Skype Connect


A business would purchase as many SIP Connect trunks as required, each trunk represents a single concurrent call. Most businesses would find one enough however if you are a heavy Skype user, 3-4 Skype Connect accounts can be subscribed to. The price is around USD$7-8 per month, per trunk. No charge for any calls being placed between Skype and the PBX.

This can be a very powerful feature to enable as all incoming voice communications to your business can now be managed by a single system, e.g. the CloudPBX. Incoming Skype calls can be placed on hold, transferred, recorded and sent to voicemail in the exact same manner as someone contacting your business from a mobile or landline telephone.

Incoming Skype calls can display on your phone the name of the calling Skype user.

Multiple business Skype names can be defined within Skype Manager such as Sales, Support, or Customer Service. The Skype name may look like sales.your-business-skype-name. This will ensure incoming calls can be directed or mapped to the right people within your organisation. You can of course also create Skype names for individual staff such as stephen.your-business-skype-name. This would allow Skype users to connect to Stephen directly. Or a conference room, conference.your-business-skype-name, this would be mapped to a CloudPBX conference room.

Skype “Click-to-Dial” links can be placed on your website or at the footer of your email to allow customers to directly speak with the sender via Skype, however the business user would answer the incoming call on their normal desk phone, not a Skype client.


Skype Connect is online and available 24x7. There is no need for the business user to run Skype on their desktop or have it enabled on any device as the CloudPBX is the Skype client and is also online 24x7. Your business Skype name (e.g. sales.your-business-skype-name) would therefore always show “available or online” to the calling Skype user. If the call cannot be answered it will simply be sent to voicemail.

For your own staff who travel, they can also use their personal Skype account to connect, for free, back to the office. This allows calls to be placed from a mobile smart phone or a laptop. This would be an alternative to using a SIP enabled client on the user’s mobile device. The only downside of using the Skype client is you cannot receive incoming calls
Skype Manager
Skype Connect with Cloud PBX

Within Skype Manager, there is a need to associate a “number” with each Skype Name created. When Skype Connect communicates with the CloudPBX it passes the number (not the name) to the PBX so the call routing can be understood by the CloudPBX as a PBX can only understand numbers. The above diagram illustrates how this mapping is defined in the Skype Manager and associates a number with a Skype name. When a Skype user clicks on a “Click to Call” web link or simply initiates a Skype call from their Window’s client, the call map will send the number to the PBX and based on the inbound call routing defined, a staff’s phone will ring.

CloudPBX supports DISA. This provides for an external caller (normally staff) to access internal CloudPBX features when outside the office. The user would call a specific local phone number which would access the DISA service, once a security password was entered the CloudPBX answers the call with a dial tone allowing the user to place an internal call or long distance call. This may be required to ensure the company's Caller ID (phone number) is sent to the called party and the mobile phone number of the staff is not sent.

The basic idea behind this DISA /Call-Through solution is enabling authorised corporate users outside the office to make calls using the organisation's special low tariffs, and to capitalise on the direct connection to the different operators. As a result, the company saves money on the original direct call. Security features include only accepting calls from approved phone numbers, e.g. mobile number of the staff; along with a 4-6 digit password. Both would be required for access to be granted by the system.

 

 

 

Yealink IP Conference PhonWe are pleased to now be able to offer Yealink's long awaited IP conference phone. The new Yealink CP860 IP conference phone is a perfect choice for small and medium-sized conference rooms, meeting the demand for up to 16 people with optional expansion microphones.

The Yealink CP860 provides abundant audio features, including optima HD technology, build-in 3 microphone array, full-duplex technology, and acoustic echo cancelling, which enable users to enjoy rich, clear, and life-like conference calls.

Compared to other providers of conference phones in the market the Yealink CP860 is well priced at less than USD$600.

All Yealink phones support our CloudPBX Hosted services. Providing support for conference calls, call recording, and access to conferences from mobile and softphones.

Corporate Phone Directory CloudPBXCloudPBX with Yealink IP Phones support a Corporate Directory service. This provides for a shared phonebook or corporate directory to all users of the CloudPBX and Yealink IP phones.  The directory is an XML file hosted on your CloudPBX server and once this is defined on each Yealink phone your corporate directory is ready to use. Folders can be created for each office so you can drill down to the staff in that office. The Directory can support up to 3 numbers per staff so it is possible to call a mobile or transfer a call to a mobile number via the Directory.

 

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