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Use Cases

JCMUA Use Case

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Are managed services right for your firm? Are you with the right VOiP provider?

To reduce the burden and cost of your IT  expenses more and more firms are turning to Managed Services. We offer many flavors of  Managed serves to fit your IT  budget as well as properly administer your  IT infrastructure.

Applied Consulting group Is an agnostic provider of this and many other Cloud/VoIP services. call 888.208.0020 for a  no-fee evaluation

Managed services are the practice of outsourcing the responsibility for maintaining, and anticipating the need for, a range of processes and functions in order to improve operations and cut expenses.[1][2] It is an alternative to the break/fix or on-demand outsourcing model where the service provider performs on-demand services and bills the customer only for the work done.[3][4]

Under this subscription model, the client or customer is the entity that owns or has direct oversight of the organization or system being managed whereas the Managed Services Provider (MSP) is the service provider delivering the managed services. The client and the MSP are bound by a contractual, service-level agreement that states the performance and quality metrics of their relationship.[5]

 

Copied from this Wikipedia link.

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5 Things Auditors Look for in a Telecom Bill Audit

5 Things Auditors Look for in a Telecom Bill Audit

A healthy business requires a clear understanding of expenses and where leakage may occur and be stopped. Because of the complexity and expense of telecom bills in the digital era, especially for larger SMBs and Enterprise, conducting a telecom bill audit is more important than ever.

Consider this scenario: your accounts payable department receives your telecom bill, and it contains hundreds of pages, including your wired and wireless bills. Does your AP department review each page and check for mistakes, or do they simply pay it because they do not have the time to review it in detail? If your answer is the latter, and bills are paid month after month without scrutiny, you have no idea if and by how much you are being overcharged. The fact is that over 75 percent of telecom bills have errors. This is where a telecom bill audit comes into play.

What Exactly is a Telecom Bill Audit?

A telecom bill audit is a thorough analysis of your overall bill, your telecom tariff, your contracts for telecom, and your expenses. An expert auditor will look at your wireless and wires service charges, taxes, surcharges, and any fees associated with your bill. They will also seek out tax exemptions on each line item of your bill. 

Understanding Your Telecom Bill Audit

For most businesses, telecommunications are one of the largest expenses they have, after payroll and rent. If you are not conducting regular telecom audits, it is likely that you are overpaying, probably in many areas of your bill. Here are some questions you should consider when deciding on a provider for a telecom audit:

What Are the Benefits to My Business of a Telecom Bill Audit?

Studies have shown that more than 80 percent of businesses have errors on their telecom bills, and those errors almost always benefit the provider. A professional telecom auditor will comb through every detail of your telecom bill and find those errors, potentially saving you thousands of dollars per year.

Are There Risks Involved in a Telecom Bill Audit?

There are two primary concerns to a business owner when hiring a telecom bill auditor: will my business be disrupted, and will this cost me an exorbitant amount?

If you hire a professional, experienced telecom auditor, the answer to both questions is most definitely “no.” A professional telecom auditing team will have a method and can even conduct much of the auditing process off site. And considering that over 80 percent of businesses overpay for their telecommunications, the audit is likely to save rather than cost you money.

Here Are 5 Things Our Telecom Bill Auditors Look For

When we review your telecom bills, we do not simply look at individual bills, we analyze peak calling times, your long distance and roaming charges, internet expenses and any other charges that you incur. Our auditors will look for:

  • Bills that are meant for another business (this happens often)
  • Usage beneath your plan
  • Usage running over your plan.
  • Multiple bills for the same line item
  • Bills for disconnected or discontinued services

We also review your contracts line by line and determine what exemptions you may not be benefiting from. Our industry experience will allow us to quickly spot charges that are out of line or irregular.

The Changing Pace of Business and Telecommunications

With digital transformation, the pace of change of business is continually accelerating. It may be that your business has upgraded their internet speed, or, with remote work, you face exploding mobile phone expenses. Perhaps you are now responsible for internet bills at your employees’ home offices.

Our auditors can make suggestions to your contract and how you provide telecom to your remote workforce, and you will no longer be at the mercy of the all too fast changes in the marketplace. By taking charge and gaining a thorough insight into your telecom expenses, you can reduce expenses and give you a clearer picture of your yearly expenses.

To learn more about a telecom bill audit or to schedule a consultation, contact us by email, or call us at (888) 208-0020.

 

Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

 

Why Your Business Needs a Utility Audit

Why Your Business Needs a Utility Audit

Simply put, a utility audit is a detailed, thorough analysis of all your utility bills, including electric, water, sewer, and gas. Executing a comprehensive utility audit finds billing inconsistencies and errors and examines your business’s rate plan for effectiveness. A utility auditor will evaluate your rate plans and suggest cost effective changes.

Utility providers do not go out of their way to make it easy for you to understand their billing system. Bills, codes, industry tariffs, and even utility terminology can be confusing and impossible for the layman to understand. Calculating what you should be paying is not simple for the novice either.

The Steps of a Utility Audit

A thoroughly executed Utility Audit will cover the following:

  1. Your energy usage numbers will be reviewed. Your energy bills should not vary wildly, especially when comparing month to month, and season to season expenses. Carefully auditing these numbers will find billing errors and ensure that you are not being overcharged or charged for the same period twice.
  2. Rate Structure Analysis. Your auditor knows that you are not simply forced to accept the rate structured assigned to you by your utility provider. They will have the expertise to review the different rate options available to you and select the one that fits. No utility company is going to do that work for you.
  3. Observe Growth Trends. Periodically certain utility bills surge, sometimes with good reason. If you are in a tropical climate, your energy bills may surge in summertime, and conversely, cold climates will see higher energy bills in the winter. Water bills should remain consistent. Utility audits will uncover these anomalies and go back to the utility company for answers.

The Utility Audit Process

A utility audit will require some work on your part in the preparation phase, but after that we do all the heavy lifting. We will need to look at all invoices from your utility vendors, for all your locations. We will assess each vendor for accuracy.

Next, we will conduct a market analysis of providers, regulatory requirements, your options, and compliance. The entire process takes 4 – 6 weeks. Once you approve our recommendations, we will contact your providers and make the contractual changes for you.

Why a Utility Audit Matters to Your Business

Research shows that over 90% of businesses are invoiced incorrectly at least once a year. If you manage a large business, these expenses can be astronomical. If you manage an SMB, one large billing error can evaporate your cash on hand and paralyze your business. Here are two examples of cost saving opportunities most businesses do not consider:

Water and Sewer: Some of the largest reductions we have helped our clients attain is regarding their water and sewer bills. Not only have we found billing errors, but we have also discovered costly leaks and helped them get credits.

Natural Gas: The gas industry has changed rapidly over the past few years, and there are methods we can use that eliminate some of the risk to your business when it comes to your gas bills.

Who Executes a Utility Audit?

A utility audit may be performed by an internal team, but it is likely that most of your team is swamped doing their regular jobs. Hiring an external contractor who specializes in utility audits is often the best bet. In addition to how busy your team is, there are other reasons to hire an independent utility auditor:

  • A utility auditor is an expert at their work, and it will be easier for them to identify mistakes.
  • An auditor has experience with a wide variety of contracts and will know how to negotiate with your utility providers. Can negotiate better with utility providers.
  • Auditors are familiar with utility providers and know how to expedite the process.

Who Uses Them?

Large multinational companies, and SMB’s may benefit from an in-house auditor depending on the number of utility providers, number of accounts with providers, and total utility spend. Enterprise and SMBs also benefit from Utility Audits. We are experienced working with all three entities.

If you are spending more than $2,500 per month on your utility bills, an audit is highly recommended. If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us by email, or call us at (888) 208-0020.

 

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Record calls to meet compliance issues and for accuracy.

With RTP installed, record calls by authorized users can easily access call recordings for quality assurance, regulatory compliance, dispute resolution, and much more. Replay RTP by Trisys is designed to record phone conversations taking place on IP phone systems. It runs unobtrusively on your network, monitoring RTP (audio) traffic through a mirrored span port for desired calls and converts them into call recordings. Our Replay RTP solution is available as a 100% software solution (if the PC is provided by the client):
• Supports all IP based telephones systems (must have IP phones)
• Saves recordings as .WAV files • Recordings can be automatically archived or deleted
• On-demand pause/resume recording Replay RTP also comes as a turnkey solution including the hardware (Tapit 6 ezBox Enhanced). Tapit 6 ezBox Enhanced can:
 Record up to 100 concurrent calls*
 Storing over 70,000 hours of recordings
 *Use multiple units for larger installations The Replay RTP web user interface via Tapit 6 Call Accounting software, allows password-protected remote access to calls, and offers over 125 reports. An authorized Tapit 6 user can:
• Easily find recordings by; date/time, caller ID, dialed number, user, DNIS, call duration, extension, trunk, and more.
• Play and download recordings
• Share recordings via e-mail Replay RTP Brochure Document #: RPRTPB–180806 Page | 2 Updated on 08/06/2018 Minimum System Requirements – PC Provided by Client
• Phones must be IP supported
• Core 2 Duo Processor
• 4 GB RAM for Windows 7/8.1/10 Pro/Windows 2008
• 500 GB of hard drive (approximately 67,000 hours of voice recordings)
• 2 Network Cards
• Windows 2008 R2/2012
• IIS ( IIS 7 and high requires IIS 6 compatibility enabled for Windows)
• Windows Media Player to play recordings
• The PC used for listening to voice recordings must have a sound card
• MS Internet Explorer 10 or higher
• Audio (RTP) must be un-encrypted
• A network switch which supports bio-directional “port mirroring” or a plain hub
• MS .NET Framework 4.5 (or 3.5 enabled)
Also we can provide additional software that uses AI to capture emotions of caller

New Voice recording Software from one of our premiere vendors, and IBM’s Watson.
Use with Microsoft teams, Cloud VoIP telecom, and Contact Center software
YOU CAN:
1. Transcribe recorded calls, and view on computer, laptop, mobile atc.
2. Share calls and the highlights of calls
3. Search and discover by keywords in the call……… saves a great deal of time
4. Capture the tone and mood of of the caller to improve customer relations

About Applied Consulting Group

Applied Consulting Group is comprised of two companies, Applied Utility Auditors LLC, and Applied Telecom Solutions. We are agnostic and unbiased providers of telecom/IT solutions, utility auditing, worker’s compensation refunds, and insurance risk analysis.

For over 30 years we have helped companies large and small determine how best to keep up with telecom and IT technology, as well as reducing overhead. Each company is comprised of individuals with 20 or more years’ experience in their respective areas of expertise and can provide solutions to help you run your business more efficiently, and at less cost.

We do not charge you for our services.  We will audit telecom, utility, IT, and workman’s compensation. We also provide complete insurance risk analysis audits. Call us for a continency based audit for refunds and future savings.

As opposed to sales organizations, we are agents/channel partners and are paid by the supplier. We will help you determine your needs and secure bids from  available providers in your area. Applied Consulting Group provides exceptional service, and continued advice throughout the term of your agreements with our vendors which include AT&T, Verizon, Microsoft, Cisco, Spectrum, Comcast, and over 75 other solution providers through channel partnerships.

ACG’s track record of customer retention is unparalleled. We have an over 97% retention rate, and we hope you will give us an opportunity to provide you with our many years of experience to improve your operations and improve your bottom line in the areas where we excell.

 

Keeping The Information You Give Vendors Safe

Will your information be safe with our vendors?

Several of our 100+ vendors/carriers offer cloud-based services such as VoIP telecom and TEAMS from Microsoft and Cisco. Several of these top-level vendors announced that they also earned the System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type II certification that covers all their facilities, business processes, and cloud services. The SOC 2 Type II audit and certification, conducted by  The Moore Group, LLC, an independent CPA firm, confirms that this vendor and others, meet the strict information security and privacy standards for the handling of highly sensitive customer data established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Two of our vendors Evolveip and Ancero just announced they are once again certified. Call us for more information 888.208.0020 or email [email-subscribers-form id=”2″]

Ancero is proud to announce the renewal of the System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type II certification, which applies to all Ancero facilities, business processes, and cloud services. SOC 2 Type II certification validates Ancero’s compliance with strict data security and privacy standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). SOC […]

The post Why Ancero’s SOC 2 Type II Certification Has Never Been More Important appeared first on Ancero.

Cyber Security Solutions for The Healthcare Sector

Cyber Security Solutions for The Healthcare Sector

Cyber Security is critical in the healthcare sector. Almost half of all data breaches in hospitals and the wider healthcare sector are due to ransomware attacks, according to new research. Ransomware gangs are increasingly adding an extra layer of extortion to attacks by not only encrypting networks and demanding hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in Bitcoin to restore them but also stealing sensitive information and threatening to publish it if the ransom isn’t paid.

Double Extortion in Cyber Security

This double extortion technique is intended as extra leverage to force victims of ransomware attacks to give in and pay the ransom rather than taking the time to restore the network themselves. For healthcare, the prospect of data being leaked on the internet is particularly disturbing as it can involve sensitive private medical data alongside other forms of identifiable personal information of patients.
SEE Cybersecurity: Let’s get tactical (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

Some organizations will, therefore, opt to pay the ransom to prevent this from happening while others will not give in to extortion demands. As a result, ransomware is now responsible for 46% of healthcare data breaches, according to an analysis by cybersecurity researchers at Tenable. More than 35% of all breaches are linked to ransomware attacks, resulting in an often-tremendous financial cost.
One of the key methods for ransomware gangs gaining access to hospital networks is via a pair of VPN vulnerabilities found in the Citrix ADC controller, affecting Gateway hosts (CVE-2019-19781) and Pulse Connect Secure (CVE-2019-11510).

Both vulnerabilities had received security patches to stop hackers from exploiting them by the beginning of 2020, but despite this, large numbers of organizations have yet to apply the update.
That is allowed ransomware groups – and even nation-state-linked hacking operations – to exploit unpatched vulnerabilities to gain a foothold on networks and they will continue to do so if networks have not received the required security patches.

“As the attack surface expands, vulnerability management has a central role to play in modern cybersecurity strategies. Unpatched vulnerabilities leave sensitive data and critical business systems exposed, and represent lucrative opportunities for ransomware actors,” said Renaud Deraison, co-founder and chief technology officer at Tenable.

SEE: Cybersecurity: This ‘costly and destructive’ malware is the biggest threat to your network
The key way to protect networks falling victim to ransomware and other cyberattacks is to apply patches when they’re released, particularly those designed to fix critical vulnerabilities. And if there’s applications that your organization uses that no longer receives security updates, researchers recommend replacing this software with an alternative that is still supported.
“If the software solutions used by your organization are no longer receiving security updates, upgrading to one with an active support contract is vital,” the report says.
“It is imperative that organizations identify assets within their environments that are vulnerable to months- and years-old flaws and apply relevant patches immediately,” it said.

MORE ON CYBERSECURITY
• These software bugs are years old. But businesses still are not patching them
• How ransomware attackers are doubling their extortion tactics TechRepublic
• Ransomware vs WFH: How remote working is making cyberattacks easier to pull off
• Ransomware attacks on hospitals could soon surge, FBI warns CNET.
• Ransomware: Attacks could be about to get even more dangerous and disruptive

MORE ON PRIVACY

• Microsoft to apply California’s privacy law for all US users
• Mind-reading technology: The security and privacy threats ahead
• How to replace each Google service with a more privacy-friendly alternative
• Cybersecurity 101: Protect your privacy from hackers, spies, and the government

ZDNet <newsletters@zdnet.online.com>
This is excerpted from ZDNet newsletters@zdnet.online.com and WWW.acginfo.biz

With over 30 years of telecom and IT experience we have several vendors that can help with solutions to cybersecurity call Applied Consulting group @ 888.208.0020

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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Quick fixes to a PC Slowing Down

Is your pc slowing down? As you add more apps and software, it eventually starts to slow down. As the programs you have installed interact with each other, your pc may start acting peculiar. Sometimes, though, a slow system or odd behavior can be an outward and visible sign of an inward and terrible malware infestation. How do you know if you have got a malware problem? If any of the warning signs below match your experience, malware may well have compromised your security.

Overview – Computer Running Slow Windows 10
“I’ve had this PC for about 1.5 years now, and it’s always worked fine and fast. Then about a week ago, it started being very slow suddenly; whether it’s opening an app or right-clicking, it’s just very slow. Nothing was installed, and prior to then, everything I did was routine. It is very weird. Why is my Windows 10 running slow all of a Sudden? Please let me know if you have any ideas on what I can do next!”

In this guide, I’ll show you exactly how to troubleshoot Windows 10 running slow on your computer.

  • Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
    Quick tips on Windows 10 slow
    Reboot your computer
    Scan for malware or viruses
    Close background programs…Full steps
    Advanced fixes to Windows 10 slow
    Delete temp files
    Free up Windows 10 disk space
    Erase the computer and start over

Why Is My Computer So Slow All of a Sudden

How often do you feel frustrated with your computer acting up, being slow, or freezing up? This list does not cover all the reasons, but when it comes to personal computers it should give you a head start on understanding what causes slow performance specifically for Windows-based machines. Here are some common reasons why Windows 10 running slow.

    • Your computer was running for a long time without a reboot
    • Not enough free hard drive space
    • Hard drive corrupted or fragmented
    • The computer is infected with a Virus or Malware
    • Too many background programs
    • Computer or processor is overheating
    • Your version of Windows or other software is out of dateMore in ou next blog

Method 1 – Reboot Your Computer

If your computer has not been rebooted recently, make sure to reboot it before following any of the fixes below.

• Click the “Start” icon.
• Go to “Shut down or sign out > Restart.”

Method 2. Scan for Malware or Viruses

If your computer is infected with one or more viruses, this can cause your computer to run slow. Use your antivirus software to scan your computer. You can also try to remove the virus without using antivirus software

• Run the Windows Command Prompt with the Admin privilege.
• Type the command: attrib g:*.* /d /s -h -r -s and hit Enter. (Replace the drive letter g with your own external hard drive’s drive letter.)

Method 3. Close Background Programs

One of the most common reasons for a slow computer is programs running in the background. Remove or disable any TSRs and startup programs that automatically start each time the computer boots. To see what programs are running in the background and how much memory and CPU they are using:

• Open “Task Manager”.
• Choose the one and close it.

Method 4. Update Windows

Make sure that you have the latest Windows updates installed on your PC. If you are on the Internet when your computer is slow, make sure all browser plugins are up-to-date.

• Click the “Start” icon
• Go to “Settings > Update & Security settings > Windows Update”.

Advanced Solutions to Windows 10 Slow Suddenly

If the quick fixes fail to solve the computer or laptop running slow Windows 10, follow the advanced methods below to try out and speed up Windows 10.

Fix 1. Delete temp files

As a computer runs programs, temporary files are stored on the hard drive. Deleting these temp files can help improve computer performance. You can use Disk Cleanup to delete temp files, and you can also automatically delete temp files.

Fix 2. Free up Windows 10 disk space and increase C drive space

For some serious hard drive issues that might cause a hard drive overloaded and sluggish, you need the advanced help of professional toolkits! Here, EaseUS Tools M is recommended. Use it to clean up all the junk files at once for more free space.

1 – Clean up junk files

Step 1.  DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS Tools M. Select “System Cleanup” on the main screen.
Step 2. Select the type of junk files you want to scan and click “Analyze”.
Step 3. Identify and select useless files and click “Clean up” to remove those files from your PC or laptop.

2 – Increase system C drive

If cleaning up junk files doesn’t make too much free space for you, another effective solution to Windows 10 suddenly slow problem is to simply expand your C drive with EaseUS Partition Master. Do it with the following steps.
Your Reliable Choice – EaseUS Partition Master
• Transfer free disk space from one drive to another directly.
• Resize/move, merge clone partition and check file system error.
• Clone disk, convert to MBR/GPT, convert to dynamic/basic, and even wipe data.
• Migrate OS, increase partition space, and more
Free DownloadWindows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP
Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master and click “Adjust with 1-Click.”
When your C drive is out of space, you will see the Low Disk Space alert on our product.

Step 2. Click “Proceed” to adjust space automatically.EaseUS Partition Master will automatically adjust your C drive to solve the low space issue. Click “Proceed” to continue.

You can also click “Manual Adjustment” to extend the C drive manually if the Smart Space Adjustment cannot meet your needs.
When turning to Manual Adjustment, the result of smart adjustment will be retained as the starting point for manual adjustment. Select the C drive, and drag dots to add more space to C drive. Then click “Proceed” to continue.

Step 3. Execute operations.
Click the “Execute Operation” button at the top corner and start all pending operations by clicking “Apply”.

Fix 3. Erase computer and start over

If none of the above solutions resolve your issues, another option is to either reinstall Windows or erase everything and then start over.
Note: Do remember to back up data before you take action to erase data.
Erasing everything and starting over can increase performance by getting rid of old software or drivers that may be on the computer and causing the computer to be slow. Installing a fresh copy of Windows, software programs, and the latest drivers help verify there are no software related issues causing your computer to be slow.

Thanks to this guide, you don’t need to spend hours searching for Windows 10 slow solutions. You have got everything you need to speed up your Windows 10/8/7 computers. As you can learn from this full guide, Windows slow issue is caused by many reasons and can be solved by many solutions. From all the solutions, I recommend Quick Fixes. These solutions are easy and effective. Most users can solve the computer running slow issue when they have restarted their computers.

Eliminate or Forward CAPEX with VoIP Cloud Based Telecom

We have been in the telecom business since 1974. Our team members have at least 20+ years each in telecom and IT services. Long gone are the days of one size fits all, and we have found that no one provider has all the answers. That is why we partner with Microsoft, AT&T Verizon, EvolveIP, 8×8, Ring Central, and over 75 other providers.

We eliminate CAPEX and equipment replacement with our VoIP solutions.
We provide agnostic solutions to fit your needs. We don’t “sell” you one solution. We discuss your needs and find the right solutions. We have done this for thousands of companies across the USA. We can help you do the following:

  • Reduce operating expenses with one convenient monthly fee with a Cloud-Based telecom system
    Connect multiple locations and remote users on one system
    A feature-rich solution that includes a mobile app and softphone
    No costly maintenance and little to no upfront capital expense
    Customer portal for account management and detailed reporting
    Utilizes an omnichannel strategy for improved customer service
    Instant, cloud delivery of new features and functionality
    Industry-leading hardware for exceptionally clear communications
    Onsite system training for your users.

below excerpted from

We are often asked by beginners: what is VoIP and how does VoIP work? If you are a non-techy user, then you may have heard that you could use VoIP to add a business phone number for your website.

VoIP is a more cost-effective way to get a business phone number for your website when compared to a traditional phone line. However, before making any decision, you need to fully understand what the technology is all about.

In this beginner’s guide, we will answer what is VoIP, and how does VoIP work behind the scenes. The goal is to help you understand how VoIP can save you money and help you grow your business.

Call 888 208 0020 or email us:

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