November News:

What's New With The Fulcrum GroupFulcrum Group What's New Congratulations to Fulcrum Group Renewals Specialist, Tyson Rasanen and his wife, Nicole, for tying the knot at the end of October.  Check out a couple of pics from the special day! Considering moving to Office 365?  We've got the scoop on November-December live and on-demand demos on our Events page. Be sure to follow us on social media and you'll be alerted to dates & times of helpful webinars, events and good stuff to know this month. Quick links to our social media pages are accessible right from our website and in every monthly newsletter email you receive from us!If you're new to our newsletter and you'd like to subscribe, let us know.
Are We Having Holiday Fun Yet? Whether your holidays are characterized by a table full of agreeable, jovial friends and relations - or if your table more closely resembles The Simpsons or The Griswolds - we're hoping you are looking forward to a nice break and spending some time with those you love most. We polled folks around the office at Fulcrum Group and here's how some of them responded to the question, What's your brand of family fun during the holidays? Windows Engineer, Scott Chadwick "Actually, we all plug-IN and enjoy playing XBox together!" Marketing Coordinator, Laura James "After each Thanksgiving we spend with the in-laws in the hillcountry, we always try to get to the Marble Falls Walkway of Lights holiday display.  The kids love walking through the tunnels and pathways and displays made of thousands of lights!" Fulcrum Group President, Steve Meek "Here's a few holiday traditions which seem to have stuck around our house:
  • Wanting to detour from the usual green bean casserole one year, I made a corn based casserole using canned corn, cream corn and cornbread, which my wife began to call “corn goop” and the name stuck.
  • My younger brother in-law mopes around the house for the holidays until proclaiming, "I gotta get out!”  At which time we usually end up at a local pool hall, talk serious about life over drinks and then I typically send him back home in a great mood.
  • My daughter and I don't miss the annual Christmas Doctor Who episode.
  • My son and I enjoy 2 player PS4 games together over the holidays. Our different generational gaming styles really show as he jumps in guns a-blazing, while I am walking along picking up loot and looking for hidden items."
We shared some of our brands of family fun and we welcome yours on our Facebook page.  We sure hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy a joyous start to your holidays!  
SPOTlight On: VoIP for Business OwnersThe Fulcrum Group - Dallas Fort Worth IT Experts What is VoIP technology and how might it impact my business? Here's the scoop, taken from our November 3rd blog: Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology which converts your analog voice into digital packets, which are then sent across a network using the Internet (or “Internet Protocol” – the IP in VoIP) to their end destination. Oftentimes, VoIP is used in conjunction with the term “Unified Communications,” as VoIP technology, correctly implemented, helps “unify” your “communications technology.” Why would a business want to incorporate VoIP into its technology resources?  For several reasons, one or all which may “speak” to you:
  • VoIP can lower an organization’s communications costs.  Specifically:
    • Putting all of your remote users and locations on a single VOIP system can significantly reduce long distance costs.
    • Consolidating communications and carriers can result in lower costs.
    • Properly configured VOIP systems can help reduce costs through improved workflows.
    • Utilizing VOIP phone lines can reduce costs.
  • VoIP can allow you to merge your voice & data traffic and this benefits you in the following ways:
    • Consolidating voice and data networks simplifies your communications systems.
    • Consolidating voice and data networks makes it easier to support remote users.
  • VoIP can help unify multiple office locations.  How so…?  Is this easy…?
    • Compared to traditional telecom phone systems, unifying multiple locations and remote users under a single VOIP system can be done easily and with significantly lower costs.
  • VoIP is a great tool to encourage collaboration among locations and individuals. Here’s a few reasons why:
    • Call Center – improve customer service by measuring and monitoring response to customer service requests that come in over the phone.
    • Instant Messaging – chat with your internal team.
    • Call Recording – improve accuracy on orders, monitor customer service, and assist in training new staff with examples of great customer service through recorded calls.
    • Mobility – get your phone calls no matter where you are.
  • VoIP can simplify management of your communications systems.
  • VoIP is customizable and scalable to your specific needs.
The VoIP product we recommend to our clients – and use with much success here, in-house at The Fulcrum Group – is Digium’s Switchvox.  In our own office environment, we place serious priority on incoming calls to our help desk getting where they need to, when they need to. VOIP InfographicExplore our infographic (click on pic to the left) for more details. At The Fulcrum Group, we know Switchvox personally, from design stage to implementation and through the ins and outs of day-to-day use, so our experts are well-equipped to consult with you on which features of VoIP technology and Unified Communications might make the most sense for your business. Let us  hear from you if you have any questions!            
  Tech TipTech Tips from The Fulcrum Group, Dallas Fort Worth IT Managed Services Providers: Check Your Tone Its always a good idea to be mindful of your "email tone". The holidays can bring on added busy-ness and deadlines so if you aren't sure you're responding appropriately to a raging client (or boss') communications - or you get a red flag about something someone else has typed - feel free to check that tone with FoxType's Politeness Web Tool. Share with anyone you think could use it and don't forget to wish him or her a happy holiday season!  
  Did You Know...Switchvox 6.1 The Fulcrum Group Dallas Fort Worth IT ExpertsDid you know Digium is releasing Switchvox 6.1 in November with a slew of new features...?  Contact your Fulcrum Group Account Manager to find out if it'd be a good fit for your business!