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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Professional Services Depends on This Technology

Professional Services Depends on This Technology

Consultation is something that can save businesses a considerable amount of time and resources. After all, you can’t expect a business professional to know everything there is to know about everything. Professional services, like those of lawyers, financial consultants, accountants, advisers, and marketing specialists, are required by just about all businesses, to at least some extent. Suffice to say that each of these specialists has dedicated software and IT solutions that are needed for success.

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Taking a Look at Cloud Growth

Taking a Look at Cloud Growth

In today’s modern business world, you’d be hard-pressed to find an organization that doesn’t utilize the cloud to at least some extent. Let’s take a dive into how businesses use the cloud to be more sustainable and efficient.

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With So Many Cloud Options Picking the Best One Can Be Dizzying

With So Many Cloud Options Picking the Best One Can Be Dizzying

Technology plays an integral part in just about all modern businesses in some way, shape or form. Without a place to purchase devices, however, no one can reap the benefits of them. Some businesses are vendors that provide organizations with these devices. In a sense, they act as the middle man between the producer and the consumer, acquiring devices for sale to businesses and users alike. In this way, vendors are critical for every single business.

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Will You Be the Latest Business to Move Your Email to the Cloud?

Will You Be the Latest Business to Move Your Email to the Cloud?

The cloud helps many organizations expand their territories beyond the physical workplace. Employees can now access data and applications on any connected device. Your office can benefit considerably from cloud-based resources, with email in particular being a standout solution for the cloud.

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Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business these days that doesn’t use the cloud in some way or another. Before investing in the right cloud solutions, it’s important that your organization considers several factors. Here are three of the most common ones that your business should consider before investing in and implementing a new cloud service.

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Which is Best for Your Server Needs, In-House or Hosted?

Which is Best for Your Server Needs, In-House or Hosted?

A server is a necessary component of any business IT infrastructure, as its job is to make sure that information and policies are distributed properly across a network. Once, servers had to be on-site in order to work, there is now the option to have a cloud-hosted virtualized server. Which of these is right for your needs? Let’s do a quick comparison to find out.

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Unified Communications Boosts Organizational Collaboration

Unified Communications Boosts Organizational Collaboration

Communication is one of the most important parts of running an organization, and this is especially true for smaller organizations that need to work closely in order to make progress. Today’s collaborative workplace is dependent on people understanding a unified message and working to succeed in that endeavor. To this end, a unified communications strategy can be extremely helpful.


Defining Unified Communications
What kinds of tools do you use on a daily basis to make sure that everyone stays connected and informed? Be sure to include technology solutions like email, telephone calls, mobile apps, and instant messaging. Now imagine all of it together in one singular platform. When you consolidate so many solutions into one, you make the experience easier for everyone involved, including your employees, supervisors, and administration.

Another aspect of unified communications that makes things much easier for your business is the fact that it’s hosted in a flexible cloud-based environment. Since you’re accessing these platforms through the cloud, you don’t have to worry about hosting and maintaining the infrastructure that these solutions are hosted on (as long as you’re outsourcing this, anyway). This also saves you a considerable amount of time and resources during implementation, as well as lowers the barrier for entry due to its ease of use.

How They Are Good for Business
By building a unified communications system you gain multiple benefits. You enhance security by being able to manage all communications--both inside and outside your organization--from one easy-to-manage dashboard. It is great for organizations that depend on department-to-department collaboration. Just think about how much easier it is to collaborate when there are reliable communication solutions at your fingertips. The end result is a much more efficient and valuable situation that you would see with a more traditional system where you utilize multiple solutions to handle your company communications.

If you want to learn more about how unified communications can work for your company, CTN’s consultants can take you through what it entails to build one, and just how much more efficient your operations can be with enhanced communications solutions. Reach out to us at (610) 828-5500 for more.

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Get Rid of Those Filing Cabinets with Document Management

Get Rid of Those Filing Cabinets with Document Management

The file cabinet. It may be a staple of the office, but can be a pain in the neck. Every file needs to be printed and collated only to be filed in a dingy file cabinet with the off chance that it will ever be needed again. For businesses with lots of paper, a document management system can go a long way toward modernizing your organization, and providing an access-controlled database where you can find any file in seconds.

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Can Hosted VoIP Be a Game Changer for Your Business?

Can Hosted VoIP Be a Game Changer for Your Business?

Many business transactions may be moving away from the telephone, but it is still a must-have for any business. Not everyone is Internet-savvy after all. Nowadays, there are plenty of telephone options out there, but only one carries no upfront hardware costs or a exorbitant fee structure: Hosted VoIP. Today, we will take a look at the benefits of cloud hosted VoIP, and how to get one working for your business today.


What is Cloud-Hosted VoIP?
Before we go into what cloud-hosted VoIP is, you have to understand what VoIP is. With Internet bandwidth increasing very quickly, there are now phone systems that work over an Internet connection rather through the traditional telephone infrastructure. As a result, Internet-based phone systems are growing in popularity. Called Voice over Internet Protocol, companies who were looking to take full control over their communications costs, started to purchase expensive PBX technology, hosting it in their place of business, and paying a VoIP provider per user. Sure it was expensive to start up, but once a company owned the hardware, costs normalized and the phone system was theirs to do with as they please.

Cloud-hosted VoIP moves the PBX platform from your server room to the cloud, removing the upfront hardware and maintenance costs that typically keep businesses from investing in their own telephone solution. With a cloud-hosted VoIP solution, you and your staff gain anytime-anywhere access to a feature-rich and reliable telephone system without the cost, headaches, and hassle that traditional telephone systems are often associated with.

Cloud-Hosted VoIP Features
While the main advantages to integrating a cloud-hosted VoIP system come from the transfer and reduction of cost, there are other benefits. Being able to quickly, and affordably, scale to your organization’s needs, provides you the opportunity to pay only what you need to pay, and not get locked into a lengthy and expensive long-term contract. If you need a new phone line, you can get one, and it will be reflected in next month’s bill.

Speaking of bills, the Cloud-hosted VoIP solution allows you to budget your communication costs based on your users, not on your whole system. This provides an advantage for project-oriented businesses, as they can easily add a phone when they need one and get rid of it when they don’t.

Another major benefit isn’t one you would typically expect. The security of cloud-hosted VoIP systems is solid. Your VoIP provider is in charge of your system’s hosting and security. As with most data center-based computing platforms, a cloud-hosted PBX server is completely protected with comprehensive disaster recovery protocols as well as ample physical security.

A lot of hosted-cloud VoIP options offer conferencing solutions and the opportunity to unify your organization’s communications platform. This can have several positive benefits including simpler management, cost reduction, and increased efficiency.

With Cloud-hosted VoIP at the center of your business’ communications, you can do more with less. For more information about the VoIP options CTN has, call us today at (610) 828-5500.

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Why The Cloud Should be Approached Responsibly

Why The Cloud Should be Approached Responsibly

It can be argued that your organization isn’t considered “modern” without taking advantage of truly modern technology solutions. This includes the cloud, which provides anytime-anywhere access to important information or products. This type of access--also known as Product as a Service--can help your budget by eliminating large up-front costs in favor of smaller payments more regularly. This might seem ideal for your organization, but we urge you to take a step back and think about the solution before accepting terms of service without looking for extra hidden costs.


A study performed by Research in Action asked 468 CIOs all about their cloud usage and the costs that come with them. The majority agreed that cloud investment was one of the biggest expenses that their organization had, which only seemed to feed into the consideration that any additional expenses can add up in the long run. These CIOs also found that most of their concerns over hidden costs were made up for by the sheer quality, quantity, and reputation of the vendors. Here are some of the issues that were considered during this poll:

  • Putting forth more effort to properly manage vendors, and their corresponding Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • Bottlenecking and the impact poor cloud performance could have on brand perception, productivity, and customer support.
  • Spending more to solve complex problems inside cloud environments.

Whether or not these concerns are justified is another issue altogether. While they might be difficult to measure, they are certainly issues that need to be addressed in some way, shape, or form. Many organizations simply don’t have the solutions to adequately determine how much the cloud costs. Many of these companies are simply using dated systems that track their cloud performance, limiting the amount of information that can be tracked.

Costs of Scalability
Some businesses also have trouble scaling their cloud solutions to the point where the organization benefits most. This happens when you’re spending too much on cloud services you don’t need, spending too little and creating an operational deficiency, or managing and administering the cloud in a way that doesn’t create a profit for your organization. You need to understand how much space and and processing will be required of your organization so that it can handle your cloud requests, as well as the flexibility needed to ensure change can be made easily enough. What it amounts to is understanding how your business’s cloud technology handles its bottom line.

Knowing When You’ve Gone Too Far
The cloud is nice for business purposes, but without taking a closer look at your finances, it’s easy to forget how much you actually use the cloud. Look at your personal use of cloud services as an example. If you use Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and other cloud-based services, while they are all relatively cheap, they can add up and cost you a considerable amount of money.

Depending on your business’s specific needs, you’ll need various cloud services that will vary by industry. How will your organization use the cloud? To find out, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Hosted Utility Computing Allows Businesses to Centralize Their IT

Hosted Utility Computing Allows Businesses to Centralize Their IT

Your business relies on technology to ensure operations proceed smoothly, but the way that it’s managed can have a major impact on the way your company functions. Think about it like this: if you have software solutions hosted on different computers, but not in any centralized location, only those computers will be able to use these solutions--potentially hampering your staff’s ability to be productive. How can you make sure that this doesn’t become a major problem?

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Four Questions to Ask Your Cloud Provider

Four Questions to Ask Your Cloud Provider

The cloud has revolutionized the way that businesses approach computing. Companies can implement solutions in a flexible and accessible model that makes it much easier to take advantage of technology solutions. Yet, you should know that not all clouds are the same, and you can’t treat them as such. Here are four questions that you need to ask your cloud provider about the services that you’ve been rendered.


What is Your Business Responsible For?
Depending on the cloud provider that your business goes with, you’ll want to know exactly what their responsibilities are. For example, the cloud provider might be responsible for security to a certain degree, with the rest of the responsibility being shared with your organization. How can you best protect your organization if you don’t know who is responsible for what? You should clearly outline the responsibilities of both your cloud provider and your own organization.

What Type of Cloud Security Do You Need?
You’ll have different cloud-based services that you take advantage of, inevitably. Whether it’s an Infrastructure as a Service type of solution or a Software as a Solution approach to cloud computing, your security needs will change. Your cloud provider should be able to adapt to the needs of your business.

What Kind of Training is Offered?
It’s great if you know how to use your business’s cloud solution, but what about every other one of your employees? While you could spend all the time to make sure that your business’s employees know how to work with your cloud services, why should you waste the time doing so if your cloud provider offers it for you instead? The more time you can save, the more money you can save. Furthermore, cloud training shouldn’t be limited to during the implementation process; instead it can be used incrementally to keep everyone up to date on the latest and greatest practices.

How Much Visibility Do I Get?
In this case, visibility can be defined as insight into how your business’s data is stored, managed, and secured. Depending on the type of cloud provider and services you work with, you’ll have varying data visibility. For example, a small business might have limited control over its business’s data. On the other hand, a larger enterprise or corporation is trusting the cloud provider a lot with their patronage. This patronage also offers a considerable insight into the way that your data is being used.

If you want a cloud provider that offers complete and total transparency, CTN can help. To learn more, give us a call at (610) 828-5500.

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What Is All This Talk About the Cloud?

What Is All This Talk About the Cloud?

Cloud computing is one of the best ways that your business can compete with larger enterprises. Today, you can adopt the cloud and take advantage of countless services, but are you doing so yet? If not, we’ll help walk you through some of the best ways that your organization can leverage the cloud.

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Is Your Organization Utilizing Software from the Cloud?

Is Your Organization Utilizing Software from the Cloud?

All businesses require at least some type of software in order to perform as expected. It’s how organizations acquire this software that has a considerable impact on cost. For some, software can be a budget-breaking nightmare, but others have found a much more convenient way of acquiring this software: as a service.


Software as a Service is a method of software distribution designed to help your business acquire the applications it needs without suffering from the large upfront costs that software acquisition typically carries with it. Do you remember purchasing software licenses for each and every user on your network? This can get somewhat challenging to maintain, as these licenses need to be renewed frequently. If they are not, then your organization could be at substantial risk.

Businesses can instead use 'software as a service' offerings to purchase access to cloud-based applications and storage. Basically, you pay for access to the software and reap all of the benefits of actually owning it--plus some additional ones--by leveraging cloud computing.

More Cost-Effective
Think about how much it costs to purchase software for your organization. The same services that are necessary for operations, could be a major detriment to turning a profit. With the use of an application hosted in the cloud, you can cut the cost of ownership and transfer the once recurring capital expense into a manageable operating expense.

Up-to-Date Editions
When you purchase 'software as a service' applications, you always access the most recent version of it through an online interface. This means that you’ll never have to worry about updating the apps with patches or security updates, as they will be taken care of by the service provider.

More Flexibility
Purchasing new software licenses can be troublesome, especially when you’re a small business that’s experiencing growing pains. You can add new users easily enough just by creating accounts for them--no additional purchases necessary. Changes in your service plan are generally added to your next billing cycle. This provides the scalability every growing business needs.

Does your business want to use software as a service? CTN Solutions can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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The Top 3 Ways Cloud Computing Helps Businesses

The Top 3 Ways Cloud Computing Helps Businesses

Cloud computing has taken the business world by storm, fulfilling so many needs and simplifying as many processes. If you’ve been on the fence about incorporating the cloud into your IT infrastructure, you should know a few of these benefits to help you make your choice.

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How Cloud Computing and Virtualization Can Free Up Your Business to Do More

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_n_virtualization_400.jpgThe cloud is revolutionizing the way that businesses store and manage data, applications, and even abstracted hardware like servers and desktops. However, some businesses are still reluctant to adopt the cloud, despite its overwhelming advantages for small and medium-sized organizations. Therefore, we’re taking it upon ourselves to “demystify” the cloud, so you can see just how great of an innovation it is.

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The Cloud Makes Everything Easier, But Only If it’s Managed Properly

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_comp_solution_400.jpgAs an increasingly more important component of the modern technology infrastructure, the cloud can be a daunting new addition to any organization’s business strategy. Yet, many businesses still haven’t made the jump to the cloud, perhaps out of fear that their use of the cloud won’t significantly benefit them.

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3 Ways Remote Technology Benefits Both Your Employees and Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_remote_bro_400.jpgIn an age when working remotely is a commonly accepted practice, many organizations are still skeptical about letting their employees work from home. They think that doing so will disengage them from the workplace environment and that they’ll be too distracted to perform their work to specification. Yet, businesses that aren’t flexible on this issue could be missing out on several significant cost savings.

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How Should Your Business Approach Virtual Desktops?

b2ap3_thumbnail_your_virtual_desktop_400.jpgYour business’s desktop infrastructure is an imperative part of operations, but thanks to the latest virtualization technology, there are easier ways to manage multiple desktops. For example, you can take advantage of an in-house virtual desktop infrastructure, or implement a dynamic outsourced Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

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3 Precautions You Need to Take Before Migrating to the Cloud

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_risk_400.jpgCloud computing grows more popular by the day, and it continues to show its value to a modern business world. Being able to dynamically access content while online is a great asset, but of course, this doesn’t come without taking some risks and gambling your data’s security. Thankfully, there are some ways in which you can tip the odds in your favor.

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