Network Premise Cabling & Premise Wiring Solution

Premise cabling or premise wiring, simply refers to the network cabling system (cable wiring, cabling connectors and accessories) that is utilized in business, government, academic and in some cases domestic applications.

With premise cabling, data terminals, computers and phone equipment systems can be interconnected using copper or fiber optic cabling components designed to meet and exceed ANSI, TIA/EIA and ISO standards for maximum product performance levels and proper design layout.

Premise Cabling Standards

Premise cabling standards ensure that product manufacturers and premise wiring installers are “on the same page” regardless if your cabling infrastructure is designed and installed from the ground up or is a retrofit for an existing facility. Premise cabling and wiring standards also ensure that future upgrading or expansion of the premise wiring system may be possible.

What’s covered under Premise Wiring

  • Voice and Data Cabling Category 5, 5e & 6, Proposed Cat 7
  • Fiber optic wiring for horizontal, backbone & outside plant
  • Coaxial cabling for CATV and CCTV
  • Cable Management
  • Testing and troubleshooting UPS systems
  • Consulting/Estimating/Design/Engineering
  • Adds, moves and changes
  • Wifi Networks

CamWire

 

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Business Continuity Planning

Business Continuity Planning is the way an organization can prepare for and aid in disaster recovery. It is an arrangement agreed upon in advance by management and key personnel of the steps that will be taken to help the organization recover should any type of disaster occur. These programs prepare for multiple problems. Detailed plans are created that clearly outline the actions that an organization or particular members of an organization will take to help recover/restore any of its critical operations that may have been either completely or partially interrupted during or after (occurring within a specified period of time) a disaster or other extended disruption in accessibility to operational functions. In order to be fully effective at disaster recovery, these plans are recommended to be regularly practiced as well as outlined.

In layman’s terms, a Business Continuity Plan or BCP is how an organization guards against future disasters that could endanger its long-term health or the accomplishment of its primary mission. BCPs take into account disasters that can occur on multiple geographic levels-local, regional, and national-disasters like fires, earthquakes, or pandemic illness. BCPs should be live and evolving strategies that are adjusted for any potential disasters that would require recovery; it should include everything from technological viruses to terrorist attacks. The ultimate goal is to help expedite the recovery of an organization’s critical functions and manpower following these types of disasters. This sort of advanced planning can help an organization minimize the amount of loss and downtime it will sustain while simultaneously creating its best and fastest chance to recover after a disaster.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery (DR) is the process an organization uses to recover access to their software, data, and/or hardware that are needed to resume the performance of normal, critical business functions after the event of either a natural disaster or a disaster caused by humans. While Disaster Recovery plans, or DRPs, often focus on bridging the gap where data, software, or hardware have been damaged or lost, one cannot forget the vital element of manpower that composes much of any organization. A building fire might predominantly affect vital data storage; whereas an epidemic illness is more likely to have an effect on staffing. Both types of disaster need to be considered when creating a DR Plan. Thus, organizations should include in their DRPs contingencies for how they will cope with the sudden and/or unexpected loss of key personnel as well as how to recover their data.

Disaster Recovery Plans are generally part of a larger, more extensive practice known as Business Continuity Planning. DR plans should be well practiced so that the key players are familiar with the specific actions they will need to take should a disaster occur. DR plans must also be adaptable and routinely updated, e.g. if new people, a new branch office, or new hardware or software are added to an organization they should promptly be incorporated into the organization’s disaster recovery plan. Companies must consider all these facets of their organization as well as update and practice their plan if they want to maximize their recovery after a disaster.

BC / DR Plan Steps

Business continuity / Disaster Recovery Plans come in various forms, each reflecting the corporation’s particular set of circumstances. The following are some of the general step required to develop and implement a plan.

Policy Statement (Goal of plan, reasons and resources Business Impact Analysis (how does a shutdown impact the business financially and otherwise) Identify Preventive Steps (can disaster be avoided by taking prudent steps) Recovery Strategies (how and what you will need to recover) Plan Development (Write plan and implement plan elements) Plan buy-in and testing (very important so that everyone knows the plan and knows what to do) Maintenance (continuous changes to reflect current situation)

3 Reasons to Move to VOIP

The 1990s saw the early days of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), when carrying on a conversation over the Internet offered all the excitement – and quality – of a CB radio. LOL

Now, VoIP has matured. With reduced broadband prices and increased bandwidth available to corporate and institutional consumers, VoIP is in widespread use by both small and large companies, supporting business-grade connections and delivering the benefits of rich features and high-quality service.

VoIP — A Brief Overview

VoIP is no longer bleeding-edge technology; it’s now a robust category of products and services. VoIP phone service effectively uses the Internet, rather than a traditional telephone line, to transmit telephone calls. Carriers who offer VoIP service leverage both the public Internet and their private backbone networks. VoIP can be deployed in various methods and may or may not include end-user handsets and other customer premise equipment. Initially offered only by niche-market providers and delivered via the public Internet, VoIP service has become a monopoly breaker. Often called “digital telephone service,” VoIP connections are replacing traditional, analog circuits but work with most standard phone systems. Most industries have now implemented some form of VoIP service.

The high adoption rate of broadband services — small businesses at 90% and residential customers at 74% – has positioned US consumers to take advantage of all this bandwidth to carry voice traffic and to replace, or at least supplement, their more traditional analog circuits. Advances in IP telephony and delivery methods mean VoIP providers can now leverage private IP networks and provide high-quality voice connections. VoIP has proven itself so effective and reliable that most major telecom providers have added it to their service offerings.

Why Use VoIP?

Technological advances and consumer trends are interesting, but they don’t answer the question: why you should use VoIP for your business communications.

 1. Same Quality as Always, More Benefits than Ever

VoIP services can be deployed to retain the same, if not better, quality and reliability that you expect from traditional phone lines. Earlier, phone lines were usually more reliable than Internet connections, but this is no longer the case.

With VoIP, calls to destinations around the globe can be made with no difference in quality from traditional phone lines. When a professional phone company implements VoIP service, dropped calls, crackling, echoes or other problems are concerns of the past. Voice clarity using VoIP is excellent.

With assurance of high-quality in place, business customers are finally realizing how many advantages are found in VoIP that were never available from traditional phone lines. Many small and midsized businesses use the flexibility that VoIP and IP phone systems offer to thrive in this challenging economy.

One major benefit is that employers can reduce overhead and at the same time allow their remote and work-from-home employees to expand scope of their contribution. According to a study3 examining national trends related to small business broadband deployment, half of small business employers currently allow telecommuting in order to reduce demand on office space and to accommodate employee schedules. This trend seems to be gaining in popularity as over 25% of these employers are interested in having even more employees telecommute.

Although studies to quantify these additional economic benefits of VoIP are underway, data already shows the overall benefits of broadband – and its related services – to be in the neighborhood of $32 billion per year for US households. A portion of this financial benefit has come in the form of savings passed on from firms that use broadband to improve efficiency and productivity, both internal and in interactions with their customers.

2. Monthly Savings

Why pay more for a service that offers less? When you’re running your own business or focused on the financial needs of your company, the bottom line is a priority equal to securing reliable service from a trusted provider. Since VoIP services and devices now utilize widely deployed IP and broadband technologies, they are available to business customers at a price that’s several times cheaper than services relying on more costly network infrastructures.

Where traditional telephone companies offer complex plans with expensive local and long-distance rates, VoIP providers are able to offer cheaper, simpler plans that include both local and nationwide long-distance calling.

International long distance rates are now offered at a fraction of the former cost.

This translates to a cost savings on your local and long-distance voice monthly service. Are you tired of paying a fortune for long-distance calls? When you’re conducting business, you never know where you’ll need to call, and depending on your call habits, rates with usage-based plans can flatten your wallet with their long-distance fees. And while business and residential customers alike leverage local and long-distance plans offered on VoIP platforms, they’re now making further shifts and welcoming the benefits of feature-rich IP telephone sets. These IP phones are available either in the form of a desk phone or a softphone – a phone icon that is used on a laptop or PDA and offers all the utilities of a typical office desk phone.

3. Reduce Capital Expense and Total Cost of Ownership for Your Office Phone System

VoIP clearly helps businesses realize savings on their monthly voice services, and it also can help reduce capital expenditures. Depending on a company’s growth patterns and communications needs, the life cycle of an office key telephone system or Private Branch Exchange ranges anywhere from 5 to 10+ years. For businesses in the market for a new office phone system, VoIP service strongly supports consideration of IP PBX or Hosted IP PBX — two options that can significantly reduce capital investment:

Businesses purchasing IP PBXs can save on the cost of not only the central processing unit but also the IP handsets, since both typically cost less than their traditional PBX counterparts. VoIP with IP phones provide great flexibility for employees who spend much of their time away from the office. In those cases, the cost of a desk phone can be eliminated completely by using a softphone in its place. Further, softphones often include usage plans that are tailored to meet the needs of field-based employees who spend most of their time, with their laptop, away from the office.

Business customers can also use VoIP to completely eliminate the major capital expense of purchasing a PBX, by choosing Hosted IP PBX, a solution that has in some cases produced a 60% decrease in operations and administration expenses over a five-year period.5 Hosted IP PBX vendors typically provide tools that empower administrators and end users to manage their own line and desk phone/softphone feature changes, via easy-to-use websites. This trend of self-managed services allows the business customer to eliminate the costly expense of a vendor or on-site technician to handle moves, adds and changes.

 Why Wait?

To sum up, the reasons for many companies – both large and small – to switch to VoIP have multiplied exponentially. Are you leveraging the technology for all it’s worth? If you’re not ready to migrate all of your lines or hardware to VoIP, start with just a few. You’ll find you have a better solution and you’ll enjoy immediate benefits and savings.

Want more details?

Windows 8 Hidden Secrets

Microsoft has made lots of changes in Windows 8. Microsoft has completely removed Start Menu and Start button from Windows 8 and all known registry tricks or other methods to get them back are not working in final version.

Removal of Start button and Start Menu also makes performing power operations a bit difficult. Now you don’t get a direct option to restart, shut down your PC. All these options have been moved to Settings charm which can be accessed by moving your mouse cursor to top-right corner of screen and selecting Settings charm from Charms bar.

You can check out our exclusive Windows 8 FAQ topic which contains solutions for all such problems such as adding Start Menu, Start button in Windows 8, accessing power options in Windows 8, etc:

Although Microsoft has removed a few essential features and functionality from Windows 8 but on the other hand they have also introduced many new useful features in Windows 8.

After using Windows 8 for a few days, we have came across a few interesting features, some of which are not directly visible on screen. The most strange part is that Microsoft has not talked about a few of these features yet in any official blog post.

Anyway for your convenience, today in this topic we are going to share a few hidden secret features which we have found in Windows 8.

So without wasting time, lets share the hidden gems in Windows 8:

1. Hidden Quick Access Menu (Win+X Menu)

Although Microsoft has removed Start button and Start Menu from Windows 8 Taskbar but they have added a hidden Quick Access Menu (QAM) or Win+X Menu which provides easier access to many useful system tools such as:

  • Programs and Features
  • Power Options
  • System Settings
  • Device Manager
  • Command Prompt
  • Task Manager
  • Control Panel
  • Search
  • Run
  • and a few more

To access this menu, move your mouse cursor to extreme bottom-left corner of screen and right-click and you’ll get the hidden system menu as shown in following screenshot:

Windows_8_Consumer_Preview_Quick_Access_Menu.png

You can also access it using “Win+X” hotkey.

You can also check out following exclusive tutorial to customize this new menu in Windows 8:

[EXCLUSIVE] Customize New Quick Access Menu (Win+X Menu) in Windows 8

If you are still using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, you can get a similar system menu in Desktop context menu or My Computer context menu using following tutorials:

UPDATE: In Windows 8.1, Microsoft has added new options such as Shut down, Restart, Hibernate, Sleep and Sign out to Win+X menu as shown in following screenshot:

Power_Options_Windows_8_1_Win_X_Menu.png

Windows 8.1 also allows you to replace Command Prompt shortcut with PowerShell in Win+X Menu:

How to Replace PowerShell with Command Prompt in “Win+X” Menu of Windows 8.1?

2. Auto-Save Screenshots

That’s an awesome addition to Windows 8. In previous Windows versions, whenever you needed to take a screenshot of your screen, you had to press “PrntScr” key or if you wanted to take screenshot of a specific program window, you needed to click on it to make it active and press “Alt+PrntScr” keys. After doing this, the screenshot was captured by clipboard and you had to paste and save it using an image editing software like built-in MS Paint, Adobe Photoshop, etc.

Windows 8 makes the whole process a lot easier. You can just press “Win+PrntScr” keys together and Windows 8 will automatically save the screenshot in your “Pictures” library folder. The screenshot is saved with the name “Screenshot.png“. If you take more screenshots, they are saved with an added number such as “Screenshot (2).png“, “Screenshot (3).png” and so on.

Windows_8_Automatic_Save_Screenshot.png

I wonder why they didn’t add hotkey “Win+Alt+PrntScr” to automatically save screenshot of a specific window. I hope they’ll add it in final build of Windows 8.

3. New Hotkey to Access Safe Mode

In previous Windows versions, if the user wanted to boot into Safe Mode, he needed to press “F8” key at system startup but this good old and well know hotkey no longer works in Windows 8. Microsoft has replaced it with a new hotkey.

The new hotkey is “Shift+F8“. So now you need to press “Shift+F8” keys together to access Safe Mode option in Windows 8. I can’t understand the reason behind this move. May be they’ll use “F8” hotkey for some new stuff? Who knows?

4. New Hot Corners in Screen

Windows 8 comes with hot corner feature which allows you to access some built-in options when you move your mouse cursor in a corner of your monitor screen.

When you move your mouse cursor to bottom-left corner of screen, it shows small Start Screen thumbnail which lets you go to Start Screen.

Windows_8_Start_Button.png

When you move your mouse cursor to top-left corner of screen, it shows a list of all running Metro apps so that you can switch between apps or close an app.

Windows_8_Metro_App_Switch_List.png

When you move your mouse cursor to top-right or bottom-right corner of screen, it shows new Charms Bar where you can access Settings, Search, Share, Devices and Start Screen charm.

Windows_8_Charms_Bar.png

If you don’t like Charms Bar to automatically appear on screen as soon as you move the cursor to top-right or bottom-right corners, you can disable it using following tutorial:

How to Disable “Charms Bar” Hint Feature in Windows 8?

If you want to disable all hot corners in Windows 8, check out following article:

How to Disable Hot Corners (Charms Bar, Start Screen Thumbnail, App Switch List) in Windows 8?

UPDATE: In Windows 8.1, Microsoft has added built-in options to disable hot corners (Charms Bar and App Switcher):

How to Disable Hot Corners (Charms Bar and App Switch List) in Windows 8.1?

5. Hidden “Applications” Folder to Launch Metro Apps Directly from Desktop

Did you know you can access a hidden folder “Applications” in Windows 8 by using following command:

explorer shell:::{4234d49b-0245-4df3-b780-3893943456e1}
or
shell:AppsFolder

You can execute the above mentioned command in RUN dialog box, in Command Prompt or from anywhere else. It’ll open a secret “Applications” folder containing shortcuts of all installed apps as shown in following screenshot:

Hidden_Metro_Applications_Folder_Windows_8.png

This way you can directly launch Metro apps without going to Start Screen.

You can create a shortcut for this command using a simple method given here and then pin the shortcut to Taskbar, Start Screen or put it on Desktop for quick and easy access.

6. Hidden “Slide to Shutdown” Feature in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 comes with a hidden “Slide to Shutdown” feature which allows you to quickly shut down your PC using a simple slide down mechanism.

Slide_to_Shutdown_Windows_8_1.png

Check out following tutorial to learn more about it:

How to Shutdown Windows 8.1 PC Using Hidden Secret “Slide to Shutdown” Feature?

7. Use Camera on Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

Windows 8.1 allows you to access your computer or tablet Camera directly from Lock Screen without log into your user account. You can take photos or create videos by using this hidden Camera app at Lock Screen.

Webcam_Access_Windows_8_1_Lock_Screen.png

Check out following tutorial to learn how to use this hidden feature:

How to Enable or Disable Use of Camera App on Windows 8.1 Lock Screen?

Also check:

How to Enable Image Slide Show Feature on Windows 8.1 Lock Screen?

8. Hidden Trick to Close Metro Apps Permanently in Windows 8.1

Microsoft has changed the mechanism to permanently close Metro apps in Windows 8.1. Now if you simply drag-n-drop an app to bottom as you used to do in Windows 8, the app won’t close permanently in Windows 8.1. Instead the app will enter into suspend mode and will continue to run in background.

Close_Metro_Apps_Windows_8_1.gif

If you want to close the running app permanently, you can use following hidden secret trick:

[Guide] How to Close Metro Apps Permanently in Windows 8.1?

9. Hidden Way to Access “Advanced Startup Screen” in Windows 8 and 8.1

Windows 8 and 8.1 comes with a hidden secret method to directly access “Advanced Startup Screen” without restarting your PC. You can access various options such as restart your PC into another installed operating system, restart in Safe Mode or choose several advanced system recovery options from this screen.

Restart_Shutdown_Windows_8_PC.png

Check out “Method 3” mentioned in following tutorial to learn more about this hidden feature:

[Tip] 5 Easy Ways to Switch from Windows 8 to Other Installed OS in Dual Boot Environment

10. New Useful Hotkeys (Keyboard Shortcuts)

There are a few useful hotkeys (keyboard shortcuts) introduced in Windows 8 which can make your Windows 8 experience better. Some of them are given below:

  • Win key – Toggles between Start Screen and Windows Desktop
  • Win+X – Opens Quick Access Menu as mentioned in point 1
  • Win+PrntScr – Automatically saves screenshot in Pictures folder as mentioned in point 2
  • Win+C – Shows Charms Bar
  • Win+I – Shows Settings panel
  • Win+K – Launches Devices charm
  • Win+H – Launches Share charm
  • Win+Q – Launches Search charm
  • Win+W – Launches Settings search page
  • Win+F – Launches Files search page
  • Win+Tab – Shows Metro apps switcher as mentioned in point 4
  • Win+Z – Shows / hides App bar at Start Screen to show all apps
  • Win+Spacebar – Toggles between input languages and keyboard layout
  • Win+, – From Start Screen peeks at the Desktop
  • Win+Enter – Launches Narrator
  • Ctrl+F1 – Minimizes / maximizes ribbon in Windows Explorer
  • Ctrl+Tab – Launches All Apps list on Start Screen