Echo Networks https://echonet.works A business phone system that doesn't suck. Mon, 23 Nov 2020 17:11:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 The Best Phone System for your Small Restaurant https://echonet.works/blog/the-best-phone-system-for-your-small-restaurant/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 23:36:15 +0000 https://echonet.works/?p=882 The post The Best Phone System for your Small Restaurant appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>

Customers getting a busy signal when trying to call your restaurant for takeout and to go?

If you’re in the food service industry, you know there are A LOT of responsibilities of your staff to make sure your business runs smooth every single day. Whether you have a 5-star fine dining restaurant, Mom and Pop Diner, or even a cool little food truck – you know communication is key.

Hostesses need to be able to clearly speak with customers to place take-out orders and make reservations. Managers often need to talk with vendors to make sure they never run out of supplies, particularly food and beverages, and they need to keep in contact with employees to quickly make staffing adjustments as needed. Many restaurant groups need to be able to communicate with one another quickly and efficiently and having a phone system that can do that with a press of a button is huge.

If your restaurant doesn’t have an easy to use, easily scalable restaurant phone system, you may be missing customer calls, and if they hear a busy signal – that can frustrate some patrons to the point of leaving a bad review. With Echo Networks, you can be sure to improve communication between your team and clients, which will return happy customers time and time again.

The Best Phones for Restaurants Include:

Auto Attendant

Provide your customers with directions and hours of operation, and other self help options to make a dine-in reservation or place a to-go order with our auto attendant for restaurants.ember they need.

Custom Call Schedules

Control the behavior of your business phone system with our custom call schedules for business hours, after hours, restaurant closures and holidays.

Answering System

Don’t miss out on call in orders by giving your callers an answering system instead of a busy signal.

Unlimited Calling

During the COVID lockdown, our business relied on phone-in take out orders. Since we only had an old landline phone, customers were constantly getting busy signals. We estimate we lost about a third of our daily orders until we switched to Echo Networks. Since then, we’re not only doing more business, but we’re also saving over 30% on our phone bill. It’s a no-brainer to switch. Give them a call today.

Rory Sandoval

Finally Restaurant Group

The post The Best Phone System for your Small Restaurant appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>
Top 10 Headsets For Conference Calls Under $100 https://echonet.works/blog/top-10-headsets-for-conference-calls-under-100/ Thu, 19 Nov 2020 03:26:52 +0000 https://echonet.works/?p=794 The post Top 10 Headsets For Conference Calls Under $100 appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>

We’ve been asked this question countless times over the last several months, it’s no suprise as work from home is the new normal. Regardless if you’re working from home, or your company is utilizing more conference calling and video meetings this guide will help you select the best headset for your budget.

What Should I Look For?

Selecting the right headset might seem trivial, but there are several features to pay attention to when picking up a new headset.

Fit – What use is a good headset if you can’t comfortably wear it? The three types of headsets on the market are in-ear, on-ear, and over the ear. All three options can be comfortably worn for extended periods, but some people are more sensitive to extended use of an in-ear headset.

Quality – The speaker and microphone quality are of equal importance. We prefer noise cancelling microphones to help wash out the background noise commonly seen with work from home.

Connectivity – Wired headsets have the advantage of not being reliant on batteries but also keep you tethered to your desk. However, the wireless headsets on this list offer over 6 hours of talk time on a single charge.

kx-tca430

#10 – Panasonic KX-TCA430 Comfort-Fit

Highlights:

Best Budget Conference Call Headset

Noise Cancelling Microphone

Weight: 3.2 Ounces

Reliable Wired Connectivity

The Panasonic KX-TCA430 Comfort-Fit headset is one of the best well rounded and budget friendly conference call headsets on the market. With it’s noise cancelling microphone, volume control adjustment, and sub $25.00 price point you will be hard pressed to find  a better headset with this value.

The features of the KX-TCA430 include:

  • Compatibility with most Panasonic DECT 6. 0 corded and cordless phones
  • Adjustable, flexible noise-canceling boom microphone that provides custom fit and optimal voice clarity
  • A convenient volume control with integrated mute button onto the cord
  • Lightweight and comfortable fit design
  • Universal 2.5mm auxiliary plug
  • Reliable wired connection

Work from home is the new normal and will be a predominant topic well in to 2021, as will the increase in adoption of cloud based business phone systems. Almost 40% of small businesses are utilizing either video conferencing or cloud communications already, and this number will only rise as time passes.

 

During the COVID lockdown, our business relied on phone-in take out orders. Since we only had an old landline phone, customers were constantly getting busy signals. We estimate we lost about a third of our daily orders until we switched to Echo Networks. Since then, we’re not only doing more business, but we’re also saving over 30% on our phone bill. It’s a no-brainer to switch. Give them a call today.

Rory Sandoval

Finally Restaurant Group

#9 – Logitech H450 High-performance USB Headset

Highlights:

Best Wired On-Ear Conference Call Headset

Noise Cancelling Microphone

Weight: 4.2 Ounces

On-ear controls

Logitech H450

The Logitech H450 wired headset is a stunning display of modern engineering, and takes the number 9 seat on our list of best conference call headsets of 2021. With USB connectivity and an on-ear fit, it ensures to exceed your expectations during your next conference call.

The features of the H450 include:

  • Additional USB extenders to extend the length of cord
  • Plug-and-play USB connection
  • Rotating noise-cancelling microphone
  • On-ear volume and mute controls
  • Ultra-comfortable on-ear design

The high definition sound quality and padded on-ear comfort of the H450 makes this headset right at home on our list. It’s USB connection makes it compatible with nearly every modern phone and video conference system (including yours truely).

 

logitech-h600

#8 – Logitech H600 Wireless Headset

Highlights:

Noise Cancelling Microphone

Weight: 3.7 Ounces

Enhanced Wireless Range

With a slim leave-in wireless dongle you are free to move around your home or office while on your next conference call. The Logitech H600 provides up to six hours of talk time on a single charge which secures it’s place at number 8 on our list.

The features of the H600 include:

  • Nano sized leave-in wireless receiver
  • Crystal clear stereo sound
  • Long-range wireless: Listen and chat up to 33 feet from your computer
  • Comfortable design
  • USB connectivity ensures compatibility with all modern calling platforms

The Logitech H600 provides optimal comfort for your right or left hand with its contoured shape. It has scooped buttons that guide your fingers into ideal placement, while additional palm support provides all-day comfort. 

 

#7 – Jabra UC Voice 750

Highlights:

Best Wired Heavy User On-Ear Conference Call Headset

Noise Cancelling Microphone

Weight: 8.8 Ounces

In-Line Remote Control

Logitech H450

The Jabra UC Voice 750 is a corded Unified Communications headset series designed for heavy UC voice users. Lightweight design enables employees to wear it all day in comfort. Hi-fi stereo audio and a noise-cancelling microphone ensure good call quality. Integral call control buttons enable employees to answer or end calls and control volume from the headset cord.

The features of the 750 include:

  • Integration with softphone applications
  • Integral call control buttons
  • Lightweight portable unit
  • Unified Communications compatibility
  • USB connectivity

A portable headset with good audio quality for heavy voice users in a Unified Communications environment.

 

logitech-h600

#6 – Microsoft LifeChat LX-6000

Highlights:

Best Entry Level Wired Conference Call Headset

Adjustable Boom Microphone

Weight: 5 Ounces

Wideband Stereo Audio

The Microsoft LifeChat LX-6000 offers a satisfactory wideband stereo audio experience, fits tightly but comfortably due to its ear pads, and includes a 270-degree adjustable mic boom. A built-in call indicator light is also included. While the headset doesn’t deliver the absolute best audio, it does come at a price tag a third the size of its competitors, which is what makes it stand out: It represents the perfect combination of a wallet-friendly solution and a quality one.

The features of the LX-6000 include:

  • Inexpensive
  • Light weight
  • Integral call control buttons
  • Unified Communications compatibility
  • USB connectivity
A budget-friendly entry level model that’s best for light, rather than all-day, use.

 

#5 – Jabra Evolve 20

Highlights:

Universal Compatibility

Noise Cancellation

Remote controls

Logitech H450

The Jabra Evolve 20 headset is said to improve employee’s concentration and in turn their conversations with the customer. With their great sound for calls and music and state of the art noise cancelling microphone, this headset is sure to improve your workforce communication. Foam ear cushions and around the ear design makes this easy to wear for a full work day and easy to store when not in use.

The features of the Evolve 20 include:

  • USB Connectivity
  • Compatibility with most all platforms
  • Manage calls easily from headset
  • Reduces high frequency sounds
  • State-of-the-art noise cancellation
  • Inexpensive

 

logitech-h800

#4 – Logitech H800

Highlights:

Adjustable Boom Microphone

USB Conneciton

 

If you’re looking for a wireless headset with dual connectivity via Bluetooth and USB receiver, look no further. The Logitech H800 will connect to your smart phone, computer, laptop, desk phone and pretty much anything else that accepts Bluetooth or USB. There are full controls on the ear so you can be away from your workspace and still control your call or music up to 40 feet away. With a noise-cancelling mic and rich high-def stereo sound, your calls will sound professional every time.

The features of the H800 include:

  • Cheap
  • Comfortable design
  • USB connectivity
  • Adjustable Mic
  • Good stereo sound

 

#3 – Logitech H390

Highlights:

All Day Comfort

Adjustable Mic

logitech-h390

On a budget? Need something that works well? This is your headset. The Logitech H390 is a dual headphone USB connected headset that you can find for around $25 and works with Windows, Mac and Chrome OS. The sound quality is very good and the over the ear design is super comfy and blocks a lot of side noise. We recommend this to anyone who needs a cheap, good sounding headset.

The features of the H390 include:

  • Cheap
  • Comfortable design
  • USB connectivity
  • Adjustable Mic
  • Good stereo sound

 

jabra elite 45h

#2 – Jabra Elite 45h

Highlights:

Dual Microphone

Long Battery Life

 

The Jabra Elite 45h is a very sturdy, comfortable, over the ear headset that is a great value for the money. With over 50 hours of battery life and superior sound, you can connect this to multiple Bluetooth devices at the same time to switch from music to calls easily and it works will Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa as well. With Jabra MySound technology, you can make your music sound better than ever and they’re so comfortable, you won’t even notice wearing them all day. This is a great buy.

The features of the 45h include:

  • High quality sound and voice
  • Dual microphone technology
  • Long battery life
  • Compact storage

 

#1 – Plantronics Blackwire 3210

Highlights:

All Day Comfort

Remote Contols

Adjustable Mic

logitech-h390

The Plantronics Blackwire 3210 is a very affordable, single headphone headset with USB C or USB A connectivity. This headset is durable, reliable and sounds great. There is a noise-cancelling microphone and enhanced audio that delivers clear sound to the other caller. At under $40, we think the Plantronics Blackwire 3210 is a great low cost solution that is very easy to use.

The features of the 3210 include:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • USB C option to use with smart phone or laptop
  • Sounds great
  • Easy volume controls with mute button

 

The post Top 10 Headsets For Conference Calls Under $100 appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>
Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector – TrickBot https://echonet.works/blog/ransomware-activity-targeting-the-healthcare-and-public-health-sector-trickbot/ Fri, 06 Nov 2020 21:55:45 +0000 https://echonet.works/?p=695 The post Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector – TrickBot appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>

Threat Description

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert about ransomware activity targeting the healthcare and public health (HPH) sectors. Malicious threat actors are targeting the HPH sector with TrickBot and BazarLoader malware. These attacks often lead to data theft and disruption of healthcare services. The cyber-crime group behind TrickBot developed new malware functionalities that increase the speed, ease, and profitability. Their campaigns start via phishing attacks containing either links to malicious websites or email attachments.

The full report can be found here.

Threat Detail

Date – October 28, 2020

Threat Type – Ransomware

Actor Type – Cyber Criminal

Threat Level – Medium

The post Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector – TrickBot appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>
Ryuk Threat Actors Exploiting Windows Zerologon Vulnerability (CVE-2020-1472) https://echonet.works/blog/ryuk-threat-actors-exploiting-windows-zerologon-vulnerability-cve-2020-1472/ Sun, 25 Oct 2020 05:48:00 +0000 https://echonet.works/?p=616 The post Ryuk Threat Actors Exploiting Windows Zerologon Vulnerability (CVE-2020-1472) appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>

Threat Description

Echo Networks is aware of reports of active exploitation of the Windows ZeroLogon vulnerability seen by security researchers. To make matters worse, the reports highlight that the attackers behind the Ryuk ransomware, which was one of the most prolific ransomware variants of last year, are incorporating this vulnerability into their arsenal. It also shows that the Ryuk attackers have changed their approach and are accomplishing their feat in a much shorter time frame.

Previously, the typical modus operandi of the attackers behind Ryuk was to exploit known SMB vulnerabilities or brute force RDP connections and then to “live off the land.” That term refers to using commonly available system tools that are already preinstalled on a machine to move laterally within a victim network so as not to cause a SIEM or endpoint to red flag potentially suspicious activity by a threat actor.

After various requirements were satisfied, the attackers would then strike out of the blue and leave an organization’s IT staff puzzled as to how they were compromised. The fact that there was no specific time frame or apparent evidence leading up to when the attack was executed only added to the confusion. It would come down to when the attackers felt it was the right time to launch an attack. There was no preset time frame.

Threat Detail

Date – October 20, 2020

Threat Type – Ransomware

Actor Type – Cyber Criminal

Threat Level – Medium

Threat Specifics

The latest development reveals that the Ryuk attackers are now using a different attack vector besides SMB/RDP to get in – spearphishing. Once the victim opens up the malicious attachment, the BazarLoader malware starts to inject into various system processes and spawn command shell processes. From there it starts to map the domain and then exploits the Windows Zerologon vulnerability to reset the password of the main domain controller. The attackers used a combination of SMB file transfers and WMI executions of Cobalt Strike beacons. The attack also uses PowerShell Active Directory module to perform more domain discovery via lateral movement. Furthering along their objective for reconnaisance, the threat actors pivoted from the primary domain controller in to backup servers. From here the attackers were able to deploy Ryuk from the backup servers, to servers, then finally to workstations.

This latest development highlights that the Ryuk actors have adopted a different and faster approach, and have lessened the time to attack to within hours.

Importance

This is one of the first examples of a well known and prolific ransomware group adding and utilizing the Windows Zerologon vulnerability to their arsenal. It is also an example that has reduced the attack time frame from weeks/months to hours, due to the easier entry of attack.

What is the Windows ZeroLogon Vulnerability?

The Windows ZeroLogon vulnerability (CVE-2020-1472) allows a remote unauthenticated attacker to control the targeted machine at the domain administrator level. Essentially, an attacker who has access at the domain administrator level can add/delete users, perform data exfiltration or simply sabotage the entire network. This vulnerability has a CVSS score of 10, which is the highest rating.

Echo Networks customers with a managed firewall running the latest IPS definitions are protected against this vulnerability.

The post Ryuk Threat Actors Exploiting Windows Zerologon Vulnerability (CVE-2020-1472) appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>
Is work from home the new normal? https://echonet.works/blog/is-work-from-home-the-new-normal/ Fri, 23 Oct 2020 17:16:00 +0000 https://echonet.works/?p=455 The post Is work from home the new normal? appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>

2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have stressed your small businesses and introduced numerous new short-term and long-term struggles. It goes without saying that small businesses are focused on recovery.

Most organizations are focusing on preserving operations while working from home, and designing processes and procedures for long-term supportability.

The new normal

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic it was estimated that nearly 80% of employees desired to work from home at least part of the time, a third of those would have willingly taken a pay cut in exchange. The pandemic forced the longstanding issue that kept remote work unattainable for most — trust. What we’ve learned this year is employees can be just as productive while working from home, if not more.

Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.

Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics

Further research is indicating that managers who have been forced to work from home during the pandemic are now more supportive than ever of their staff working from remotely. The caveat, the communication and collaboration tools in use have to be up to the task.

Enable the new normal

Work from home isn’t the only trend of 2020. The adoption of cloud based phone systems and video conferencing is on the rise as well. Nearly 35% of small businesses are utilizing one, or both of these services, that’s a 10% increase over last year. Adoption will continue to rise in 2021 as more businesses embrace the new normal.

There are several often overlooked advantages of cloud powered communication systems:

  • Increased Revenue by embracing the power of these systems, enabling your business to be more responsive, improving customer service, and closing new business.
  • Increased productivity by removing the pains typically associated with remote teams.

It’s clear that most businesses are going to have to embrace and enable this new normal or risk turnover as employees look for alternatives. But how does one go about this the right way? We’ve identified two major hurdles to implementing a long-term work from home strategy:

  • Structure
    Failure to properly plan the adoption of any cloud powered system, let alone a phone system, can result in loss of productivity and frustration for employees. The system itself is important, but so is a successful implementation, clear expectations, training, and support.
  • Security
    We’re no longer centralized behind a common network firewall and as such we must address the security changes imposed by these adjustments. This is evident in the massive increase in cyber-crime over the last 6 months.

Addressing these challenges is no easy feat, but the right vendor can help you navigate the work from home landscape. Echo Networks offers a full suite of services to help you embrace the work from home revolution, including a remote capable business phone system and a cloud managed network firewall.

 

The post Is work from home the new normal? appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>
Auto Attendant Tips and Tricks for First Impressions https://echonet.works/blog/auto-attendant-tips-and-tricks-for-first-impressions/ Mon, 05 Oct 2020 16:05:00 +0000 https://echonet.works/?p=503 The post Auto Attendant Tips and Tricks for First Impressions appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>

Your Auto-Attendant is the first thing a client or customer hears when calling your company and it can set the tone for their overall experience. An overly generic or complex Auto-Attendant can be a roadblock for customer satisfaction. At Echo Networks we’ve put together some of our best Auto-Attendant Tips and Tricks to help you get the perfect Auto-Attendant.

Keep it simple.

Don’t use more than three levels in your Auto-Attendant, and don’t create too many options. The human brain can only remember 7 bits of information at a time, so 7 options should be your maximum.

Make it short and sweet.

Each recorded message should be no longer than 60 seconds.

Keep direct voicemail options to a minimum.

If the client is calling outside your normal business hours, they should be sent to the voicemail of the person who can best help them as quickly as possible, if no live help is available.

Maintain the flow of the menu.

If the first option is “Press 1 for support”, don’t make the next one “Press 9 for sales”.

Listen to your recordings.

Your clients and customers should not have to strain to hear the message, but it shouldn’t be deafening loud either, so make sure they are at the right speed, volume, and clarity is crucial.

Don’t make frequent menu changes.

Find a menu structure that works and only avoid making changes that will confuse your callers.

Use an editor for recordings.

Many commercial and free sound editors like Audacity can remove long pauses, shorten recordings, and improve overall sound quality.

Keep your auto attendants up to date.

As employees come and go, it’s vital to make sure that the Auto-Attendant is always current.

Allow a live help option.

Always include a direct route to live assistance, such as “Press 0 for an operator.”

Example auto attendant scripts

Business hours

Thank you for calling Echo Networks. If you know the extension you’d like to reach you may dial it at any time. For support, press 1. For sales, press 2. For accounting, press 3. To hear our company directory press 9. Otherwise please stay on the line and you will be connected with an operator.

Lunch

Thank you for calling Echo Networks. If you know the extension you’d like to reach you may dial it at any time. All of our agents are currently busy at the moment, but if you’d like to leave a voicemail, please listen to the following options. For support, press 1. For sales, press 2. For accounting, press 3. To hear our company directory press 9. Otherwise please stay on the line and you will be connected with an operator.

After hours

Thank you for calling Echo Networks. Our business office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. If you would like to reach support please press 1. Otherwise, please leave your name, number, and a brief message and we will return you call during the next business day.

 

Ready To Explore More Auto-Attendant Tips and Tricks?

Are you ready to discuss how our Auto-Attendant Tips and Tricks can help you improve your first impression? Schedule your free consultation today and start making better first impressions.

The post Auto Attendant Tips and Tricks for First Impressions appeared first on Echo Networks.

]]>