Landlines for both businesses and consumers are becoming more and more a “thing of the past.” Industry and government reports show that VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology services are becoming the preferred standard for businesses. Likewise, on the consumer side, trends show that for the first time ever, in US households, landlines are now in the minority and mobile phones are the primary form of communication.
Upshot — lots of news in the telephony arena – let’s take a look:
When Chief of Police, Kent Kroeger, first came on the job in 2014 at the Tehachapi Police Department, he was determined to make immediate changes and upgrades to station’s IT infrastructure. At the time, Chief Kroeger said the Tehachapi Police Department or TPD, located in California, was operating without the modern conveniences that other law enforcement agencies were using such as a modern call center or outfitting police vehicles with the latest mobile computers. In addition, the TPD was outsourcing its dispatch center to another nearby police department – a cost that was becoming prohibitive.
For years, mobile devices used in businesses were dominated by Blackberry. In the past couple of years more enterprises and SMBs are adopting the iPhone as the corporate phone of choice. As Apple makes strategic deals with the likes of IBM and Cisco, the quintessential consumer product – the iPhone – is turning into a quintessential business product. “For years, Apple devices weren’t very practical inside companies, because many business applications were written only for Windows,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Upshot: This is changing. Recent reports from Forrester and other analysts state the iPhone has replaced the BlackBerry (and even Android) as the mobile phone of choice in the workplace, as the iPad and mobile devices assumes tasks once reserved for PCs.
It is an uncomfortable truth that emergencies can happen in schools. While parents and guardians hate to think of such a scenario, the one consolation is to know that the school administration is prepared in case of an emergency. Most educational institutions have special emergency procedures in place for a number of situations from natural disasters to inclement weather, illness, violence and more.
That said, while schools have procedures for dealing with emergencies, one of the ongoing challenges is the ability to communicate in a timely matter. Without the proper technology, getting the news out can be difficult. The absence of communication can be devastating to those waiting to hear if their loved ones are safe. Recently, there was a case where parents first learned about an emergency at their children’s school from watching the evening news.
Upshot is — if people are not notified immediately, a crisis can be exasperated.
The migration of schools to voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone systems has been a long time coming. Legacy phone systems have been a money sink for long enough that school districts across California are leaving these sunk costs for technologies that will start saving them money. To further contribute to this, the FCC recently changed the E-rate funding system. While schools used to get discounts on their phone and voice systems, discounts on telecommunications technologies are now getting phased out. In lieu of depending on these telecom companies, it’s making more sense from a budget perspective to have your own premise-based VoIP setup. These changes fall in line with modified requirements for emergency notifications, for which VoIP is the ideal technology.
It’s never been more important for healthcare providers to be good at what they do. Sure, that sounds obvious, but when you consider the complexities of health insurance and the myriad conditions to be diagnosed and treated, it is irrefutable that the healthcare field is changing. Keeping up with these changes has also never been more difficult. These same challenges facing patients—navigating insurance, finding the right specialists to help them overcome an ailment or disease—are being faced by doctors in a similar direction. Staying up-to-date on the latest journals and information, making sure practice claims are processed correctly, protecting patient rights and privacy while also providing the best possible care is more than a full-time job for most physicians.
That’s why it is so important that doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and their staffs avoid being chained to a single place for their work.1 If patients require care around the clock or if an important record might need to be accessed at a moment’s notice, then being shackled to a desk during normal business hours is woefully inadequate. Thankfully, new virtualized technology and evolving compliance requirements mean that physicians can work from remote locations to provide the best possible patient care.2 Key among this technology are Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP for short) and Virtual Desktop Instances (or VDI).
Nearly half of all fruits, vegetables, and nuts in the United States come from California.1 The Central Valley also produces nearly 85 percent of all the carrots in America!2 Our area is ripe (pardon the pun) with hundreds of farms producing hundreds of different agricultural commodities. From almonds to lettuce to dairy products, you don’t have to drive far from Bakersfield to see acres upon acres dedicated to producing these vital foodstuffs for the rest of the country.
But take a closer look sometime. Many tractors and pieces of field equipment are outfitted with GPS units to make sure every pass across the field brings in the greatest yield. Irrigation systems are networked to collect real-time information and deliver the exact right amount of water to specific crops at specific times. Order entry systems work together to ensure maximum efficiency across the supply chain. Technology has transformed farms and ranches in amazing ways, just as it has for many other industries.
The sustained low prices of oil may be great for consumers, but they are taking their toll on North American oil companies. The oil market has been contracting for several months, and companies are either tightening their belts or closing their doors. Gone are the days where your high-cost projects would be offset by the favorable barrel prices. According to a report from Goldman Sachs, businesses will need to cut their costs by up to 30% to maintain a profit on their high-cost ventures, with oil prices now at a sustained $70 per barrel12—and prices are expected to dip down to an average of $40 for the year.3
If we’ve learned anything when working with attorneys and law firms, it’s that the focus on clients and cases is so laser-sharp that everything else can be a distraction. That’s why we’re always very cautious when making recommendations for new tools and technology—not because new tools aren’t worth exploring, but because any time and attention not focused on clients can feel wasted. Everything that puts you on the path to helping your clients and building your practice is useful. Anything else is a waste of time.
But we have found one tool that—without exception—helps attorneys, paralegals, and their staffs be even more productive and do even better work.
A nearby women’s rights group with whom we work was desperate to find a way to stay in better touch with their donor roll. For decades they’d utilized a single inbound phone line for all incoming calls and messages. Because the office was only staffed part-time, many people interested in supporting their cause were forced to leave messages and hope for a call back at a later date. This organization contacted DiamondIT because they knew there had to be a better way. The administrator of the non-profit said, “This needs to function in a way that keeps the people that care about this cause engaged and excited. No more messages and missed calls and complications. Our phone system needs to work for us, not the other way around.”