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The Reason for Blog Silence

If you’re a reader of our blog, let me apologize for the delay in updating it. It hasn’t been for naught though. As you most likely know, we are moving, and the move has been consuming all of our extra time and energy, normally spent on our blog. The list of improvements for the new office include:

1- all new wood flooring throughout
2 – painting of all interior
3 – security cameras covering entire inside and outside
4 – all new electrical outlets and switches
5 – several new doors and beautiful French doors in a couple areas
6 – new furniture and art throughout
7 – wiring throughout
…. And much more…

Needless to say, we are investing heavily in our space in both financial and time resources to make it a more productive and also more inviting environment for our customers to visit us. Although we are still a ways off from the finished product, the results have already been rather impressive. Thanks to our awesome employees and the contractors we employed we have a space that is truly everything we have wanted.

The reality is that we believe this space will continue to propel us forward as we grow the company in size and professional offerings. This year we added our VoIP services and phone systems and have installed far more than we anticipated. We continue to grow our managed services for our commercial clients at a steady 5% per month and the audio video side has continued to add new customers and strategic sources of referrals. And this month we added on a new service with automated window treatments and shades that we are very excited about.

We know all of this growth requires a new space and we believe that this space is exactly that. We are excited to have a location that allows us to better exhibit our service offerings and better present the level of service we provide.

2015 has been an exciting year and we know by the beginning of 2016 that we will have this new office fully ready to go. I hope you’ll drop by and see us, but for now, stay tuned!

VoIP: It Rises and Falls on the Network

VoIP is finally making a place in most businesses. It is estimated that over 50% of all businesses have switched to VoIP and that the remaining businesses will switch within the next 5 years. VoIP is a great advancement in voice services. A physical cooper line is no longer required and the ability to have multiple office locations and/or mobile offices is easily possible with the power of the Internet.

But for those that have switched, it’s not all peaches and roses. The reality is that most people do not fully understand that VoIP stands for “Voice over IP” and that the “IP” is your network.

No one understands the importance of the network and networking better than us. After all, it was networking that ultimately has allowed us to have so much success in the Audio Video market. While our competition struggles to understand the network so their customers can control their music, security, TVs, and lighting from their phone, we only seem to excel. The reason is because of our understanding of the power and importance of the network.

And now, we are applying the same expertise to our newly launched VoIP product.

Like the foundation of a home, the network is what everything else runs on top of and VoIP is perhaps the most picky. VoIP is almost like a fine marble floor. It can be gorgeous and of the finest quality but if the foundation is uneven or unstable, it will crack and fall apart. So many might be quick to blame the marble, but the actual cause is the foundation below it.

It is for this reason that we believe GTVoice will be such a reliable product. Our team of network engineers will ensure that a solid network foundation is provided for the VoIP services creating a perfect combo. Our wisest customers will combine our managed services with our GTVoice product for a comprehensive technology solution from a single provider.

Which brings us into the importance of a single provider for your VoIP and networking team. By using separate companies, you are stuck in the middle of two companies pointing fingers and blaming one another for each other’s problems. We have been involved in these environments and the result is anything but fun. In fact, it was part of the reason that we decided to launch GTVoice as we were tired of being involved in that finger pointing game. The customer was being hurt the most, and that goes against our promise for a more productive technological environment.

Reality is that GTVoice is still in its infancy, but we expect to rock the market as we have with audio video by understanding the importance of the network and continuing to provide our excellent level of customer-first, customer service!

One Vendor for them All

This blog post is a little biased, we have to admit that. But are you really wanting to have to call 4 different vendors for your technology? Wouldn’t you rather have one company that takes care of it all? That’s the advantage Gamma Tech Services offers. We are truly a one stop shop for everything technology in your business or home.

One call for your computer repair. One call for your networking. One call for your phones. One call for your security. One call for your audio/video. One call for your home automation. One call. Period. The biggest advantage is that you never have to worry about finger pointing or explaining to one company what another company did. You can truly leave the technology to us.

If you’re looking for an end to the pain that technology can bring, give us a call. After all, your technology is supposed to make you more productive and/or for your entertainment. Trust us to bring that back!

Point that Somewhere Else!

No one likes finger pointing. It’s a pain for the customer and typically it makes the people doing the pointing look bad too. Reality is that it’s going to happen despite our best efforts, but there are a couple things you can do to reduce it.

1. Choose a company that offers a variety of services. If there is the option for a “one stop shop”, then go for it. Otherwise, attempt to find a person or company that can manage the multiple vendors required to complete the task.
2. If you find a company you like working with, ask them for referrals and companies/people they like working with. This helps in two ways. You’ll know you are getting a reputable referral but also both parties will seek to not blame each other for any issues. The referring company won’t want to look foolish for recommending a poor company, and the company that earned the referral want to point fingers at the company that brought them in.
3. Do some research of your own on the project. It’s important to trust whoever you are working with, especially if it’s technology related, but sometimes when finger pointing is happening, you have to serve as the judge. If you have done some research on the topic, you’ll have some better “wisdom” on who’s to blame.

At Gamma Tech Services, we take every possible step to eliminate finger pointing. We start by offering a large range of services in house that in most cases would require multiple companies, and we have a strong relationship with strategic partners that we work along side. The result is a happier customer that doesn’t have to deal with finger pointing when problems arise.

Wait… Don’t Sign

As a business owner, we understand just how busy you can be. Often times you have to be everything to everyone and more than likely fill many roles. The reality is it is overwhelming at times. But some items in business require you to slow down.  One of those is contracts.

Technology vendors like Gamma Tech Services are always battling the ever changing nature of technology.  If there is a way to provide some guarantee for us, we are all for it.  Contracts are one way that this can be accomplished, but they aren’t always a good deal for the one signing them.

What most business owners don’t realize is that the contract is negotiable and often can be removed completely.  Often if it can’t be removed, it can be used for leverage for lower pricing for a longer commitment.  When you sign the contract, understand that you are stuck with that company for the full length of the contract or pay severe penalties.  Below we have listed the contracts that most businesses are signing and how to ensure you get the best deal.

 

  • Internet (Comcast)
    • Normal Term: 3 Years
    • Negotiate: 1 Year
    • Details:  Comcast Business Class Internet sales reps will try to get you to sign a 3 year contract.  This is easily moved down to a 1 Year.  They will tell you that with a 3 year you can get lower pricing, but the offer is not worth it, and with competition finally entering the market in SWFL through Fiber providers such as Summit Broadband, you don’t want to find out you are stuck with Comcast 2 years from now.
  • Phone Services
    • Normal Term: 3 Years
    • Negotiate: No Contract
    • Details: Most phone services will negotiate their contracts.  We have seen them negotiate in two ways.  One is through lower pricing for a longer term and the second is for a short or sometimes even no contract.  With companies like Comcast, it is a little bit more difficult to negotiate but smaller companies are more lenient.  We find that phone systems are in the middle of great change and reality is you don’t want to be stuck with a phone company that is not providing the service you need.  Be especially weary of VoIP companies.  Remember that with VoIP your phones run over your network and if your network is poor, your phones will be as well.  How does the phone company handle these issues when they happen and will they just point their fingers at your network?  With our product, GT Voice, we don’t even ask for a contract and if we are your IT vendor, there is no finger pointing.
  • IT Managed Services
    • Normal Term: 1 Year
    • Negotiate: 1 Year with Cancelling Fees
    • Details:  IT Managed Services can be a little tricky.  From our prospective, we want to make sure the business is not going to take advantage of us by paying us for 1 month and then cancelling.  We also have significant start up costs that come into play.  Your mileage will vary, but we find that negotiating for a contract with “a way out” is the best model here.  It’s not wise to sign a longer contract in exchange for lower pricing.  Remember, you are buying a service and not a product.  Unlike a product, you don’t have anyway to truly guarantee the level of service will be maintained and having a long contract will only serve as a temptation for low quality service.  We have seen it many times, and the results are not good.
  • Printer Lease
    • Normal Term: 1 Year
    • Negotiate: Up to 3 Years
    • Details:  Your printer lease is a good item to negotiate lower pricing in exchange for a longer term.  Printer technology doesn’t change much and we find that if the company you are leasing from has been in business for a while and has a good reputation, they will continue to provide good or at least adequate services when needed.  In the end it’s the printer that you are leasing and lower pricing can really add up if you print large quantities.
  • Security Monitoring
    • Normal Term: 1 Year
    • Negotiate: Up to 3 Years
    • Details: Security companies are built for subsidizing installation costs in exchange for monitoring contracts.  If you are thinking you want your security system monitored, and you should, then you have little to lose and much to gain.  Negotiate for a longer term, up to 3 years, and get the installation of the actual system as low as possible.  In the end you’ll find that you can save quite a bit.
  • Merchant Services (Credit Card Machines)
    • Normal Term: 1 to 3 Years
    • Negotiate: No Contract, or a smart contract.
    • Details:  Merchant Services companies are notorious for shady business practices.  They promise 1.6% rates and when your bill comes you find out that most of your charges came in at 4% since they were “business” cards.  The moral of the story?  Keep them honest by avoiding the contract when possible, but be strategic.  Sometimes these companies will offer savings on the their terminals in exchange for a contract.  What most small businesses don’t realize is that you can have several merchant services accounts. This means that if you decide you no longer like your current company, you can “switch” by no longer using the old company to process the cards.  Be careful though, as some contracts require a high monthly payment or a minimum processing fee that might take away this option.

Next time you are presented with a contract, stop and ensure you can’t make any changes to the contract before you sign.  It might save you thousands in the end.  Our customers who are a part of our IT Managed Services can and should involve us in any of these negotiations so that we can ensure you get the best bang for you buck combined with flexibility in the the future.

Be Mobile with VoIP

Many people often ask us what is the true value of VoIP?  After all, what was wrong with traditional phone service that VoIP came in as its replacement.  The simple answer is that there wasn’t anything really wrong with traditional phone service, but as we become more mobile and less tied to a physical location, a new standard had to emerge.  That standard is VoIP.  VoIP allows us to use a phone that simply needs an Internet connection and regardless of its location, can make a call and act as if it is a part of the same location.  This has huge benefits for mobile sales people or mobile techs.  For us at Gamma Tech, we have both and we therefore very much enjoy the mobility it offers.  It also allows for businesses with multiple locations to act as if they are one without the headaches that this would be with traditional phone service.

For us, launching GT Voice has been an interesting and long process, but in the end, we are VERY excited by the many features that we can bring to our customers.  More than anything, we are excited to have direct control over this and provide an excellent level of service to our customers.  It’s an exciting time in technology as a whole, but we are just beginning to see all that the Internet can do for us, and VoIP is definitely a huge benefactor of its growth.