Hosted PBX

Many areas of IT and Technology in general are geared toward making your job easier and potentially saving you money at the same time.  But what about your phone system? It might feel like a necessary evil, a system that simply is what it is and will always cost more money and trouble than it’s worth. But that’s not true anymore. Traditional phone systems required the “brains” of the system to be placed at your location often filling up the wiring closet with large and unsightly equipment. That on-site PBX (Private Branch Exchange) controls all your call routing and dictates which feature set is available to you.  When you want to add a new feature or upgrade the existing firmware on your system it often requires an on-site visit by a technician who’s likely there as part of a lengthy and pricey maintenance contract, or an even pricier out of contract visit. That’s where Hosted PBX starts to differentiate itself.  What we mean by Hosted PBX is simply that the configurations all come from our Metaswitch here at DRN ReadiTech office.  To the customer this means that the only equipment that is onsite is a small switch in the wiring closet and the actual phones on the desks.  All the upgrades are taken care of behind the scenes automatically.  No need for a technician to come onsite and interrupt service at your location.  And because it comes right off our main switch you will have access to the entire gamut of features that are available now or will become available as technology changes. Here’s just a few of the...

DRN/ReadiTech Career Series

I’d like to spend a little time talking about careers at DRN/ReadiTech. Currently we have an opening for a customer care specialist at our headquarters in Ellendale.  The customer care specialist position is a vital role at any organization.  At DRN/ReadiTech, our customer care specialists pride themselves on providing our customers with a top-notch experience at every interaction.  Customer care specialists coordinate our customers’ experience in person and by phone by providing first level support and recommending a complete technology solution to fit their needs.  At DRN/ReadiTech, our team of customer care specialists work closely together to encourage, educate, and solve problems together making it easy to work with any of our specialists for a positive experience.  In a previous blog, you might have read about our values. Employees at DRN/ReadiTech embody our values – Respect, Accountability, Commitment, Service, and Teamwork.  Something unique our specialists are empowered to do is send a greeting card to a customer they have worked with that may be celebrating a special event or is just in need of a pick me up!  For more on why you want to work for us, refer to my previous blog, “Why do you want to work for us?” Do you have previous customer service/technical experience?  Do you enjoy working to improve customer satisfaction and quickly resolving customer requests?  Are you interested in further developing your abilities and growing with our team while interacting with customers each week?  If your answer is “yes” you might be interested in a customer care specialist position at DRN.  To review the complete job description here.  To apply, please submit a...

Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Sitting has been branded the “New Smoking” for the health risks it potentially causes.   I am not a doctor or medical research scientist.  But I do work in an environment that sitting most of the work day is more of the norm than I would like.  Sitting has been linked with cancer, back and neck pain, cardiovascular disease, obesity and many more conditions.  What are we to do to combat the “new smoking”. One thing I have incorporated into my workday is standing.  I use a standing desk to break up my day of sitting.  This has really improved my posture and how I work.  When I got my standing desk, I decided to stand as much as possible to fight the risks of sitting.  What I found was I forced myself to stand longer than I was comfortable and started to not use the standing desk.   I changed to standing in the morning when I got to work, for about an hour.  Then again when I returned from lunch.  This breaks up a day of sitting and works into the new posture of standing and working. If you start using a stand-up desk that is just one part of improving your lifestyle and health.  What you should be aiming at is to reduce continuous sitting.  Changing a few aspects at work can make a big difference.  We are all told to drink more water.  Doing so will make you get up and use the restroom, thus creating more steps in the day!   Smart watches and fitness trackers today will remind you to get up and get moving or...

Fire up your Firestick

Happy Holidays Everyone!  This is Tim Steinwand, Customer Experience Specialist here at DRN.  Hopefully you got everything you wanted for Christmas?  Hopefully some of the things were electronic gadgets that will make your life easier or more convenient.  Maybe one of the things was an Amazon Firestick from DRN from our latest promotion.  If so, I wanted to let you know of some of the really cool apps that you should add to your Firestick.  Since you have the hardware, getting all the apps you want to use in one place (such as a Firestick) keeps you from having to go to multiple boxes to view different things. If you have a Netflix subscription, the Netflix app is a necessity on the Firestick.  You can use the power of the Firestick’s Alexa function to search movies and TV series to find things very easily in the Netflix app. Tubi TV is a free app that you can add to the Firestick.  You do not have to have a subscription, and there are many movies and TV shows that are available on demand. Crackle is a free and legal streaming service that also offers a lot of classic content, as well as some newer shows. You Tube is a must to add to your Stick.  Music, documentaries, sports, some live streams, do-it-yourself videos.  All available freely on demand. Vivo – Spotify – TuneIn Radio – These 3 apps are a must for any music enthusiast.  Music Videos, Radio Stations, audio news and sports are yours with these 3 apps. Accuweather – Easy access to local and worldwide weather with just...

Precaution for Online Holiday Shopping

Every year during the Holiday season stores and manufacturers have countless sales and discounts.  The purchase choices are unlimited around this time of year. I want to cover some precautions and safety recommendations to help protect yourself while shopping online.  Anyone with an email knows that with all the discounts and sales comes a lot of email marketing. Don’t get overwhelmed, there a couple steps we can take to keep you protected from being a victim of malicious activity. Mass emails, or SPAM, is a popular form of commercial advertising that companies use to reach a lot of users, mostly due to its low cost. That’s not where the threat comes in however, we get so many spam emails they all look the same and, in most cases, we just delete them. But, sometimes during holiday season we would like to see what some companies are offering.  It’s important to remember that emails can be easily manipulated. For example, the appeared sender listed might not actually be the person that sent the email. Also, any links in the email may not take you to the page you assumed you were going. Phishing is a type of attack where hackers create false emails that intended to trick readers.  Spam can be especially dangerous around this time of year in the form of attachments and links. With a few steps we can verify what is in the email. One way is by cross referencing the email information and sales to the company’s actual web site. Also check the senders address and verify it’s from who you think it is. If the...

Synergies Realized: ReadiTech Acquires INSIGHT Technologies

  Synergies Realized: ReadiTech Acquires INSIGHT Technologies Ellendale, ND—ReadiTech has acquired Insight Technologies of Grand Forks, Fargo and Bismarck, effective Jan. 1, 2019.  Insight Technologies is a leading web development and IT solutions partner for businesses across all industries.  ReadiTech, is also a Managed IT service company with headquarters in Ellendale, ND. Under the new acquisition agreement, Insight Technologies will continue to operate under its current business name and model.  ReadiTech CEO/GM Robert K. Johnson is extremely excited about the purchase.  “These two companies will be able to complement each other with their teams of expert network analysts and technicians.  While Insight’s sweet spot is cybersecurity and web enabled marketing tools, ReadiTech’s strength is Network Management for schools and small businesses.” Insights team of specialists has over 200 years of combined experience and expertise to help businesses plan, develop and implement new technologies to help serve their customers better, improve business operations and lend a competitive advantage.  Brian Burkett, CEO of Insight Technologies, said this acquisition will benefit Insight customers and the company due to efficiencies gained. “By working together, we will be able to provide our customers with more efficient and robust sales, service and support.” Looking forward, Insight will continue to expand its footprint in the region and strengthen its reputation as a leader in managed IT service provider. Burkett recognizes the importance of having a team of dedicated people, who share Insight’s core values, and a common commitment to serving its clients. It is equally important for ReadiTech to work with companies who value the client relationship.  In 2017, ReadiTech purchased Compquest Technology of Aberdeen, SD. ...

A Time to Post

Hello again! As of today, there are only 14 days left in 2018.  Yikes.  In previous blog posts, I have talked about Facebook specifically and the importance of a social media presence.  Also, I discussed why video is your friend across social media.  Let’s not forget that great list of 10 ways to use social media to promote your event.  As we look forward to 2019, let’s take a moment to chat about the best times to post on social media. Unfortunately, there is no perfect time to post on social media.  Each person has a different time during which they browse.  Myself, as an example, I normally gravitate to Twitter in the early morning.  I will visit Facebook around lunch time on an average day.  While you’ll find me on either Instagram or Pinterest after 8:30pm. Take a moment to think of how your social media viewing times compare to the times that I am perusing social media.  It just goes to show how different each person is and why there is not perfect time to post. Even though every individual has a normal time that they will go onto social media. Each platform has an optimal time in which to post on.  A simple search online will produce multiple articles with a great deal of data indicating the best times to post on social media.  When posting on Facebook, Thursday through Sunday will get you the highest engagement.  While Wednesdays are the most effective days to post on Twitter.  It is not just about the day that you post either.  There more effective times of the day...

Oh How IT Has Grown

DRN has always been proud to be your telecommunications cooperative since 1950, providing voice, video and internet services to our members!  Along with providing traditional services, Dickey Rural Networks, saw the need to diversify while continuing to provide cooperative members with the same stellar traditional services.   This decision was driven out of the need and demand that our business customers had for IT services.  These business customers were calling service providers out of Fargo, Bismarck or out-of-state to come out to our rural areas to support their IT networks. So the ReadiTech story begins in 2011, when the DRN Leadership Team and Board of Directors, created ReadiTech – a Managed Solutions company –  to provide IT Solutions to our cooperative members.  ReadiTech was started with one IT Analyst, Andy Meyer and one customer Ashley School.  After successfully supporting the Ashley School, other business relationships started to form.  These relationships would be with other schools, elevators, banks, credit unions, hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, the list goes on.  With the growth of customers, ReadiTech needed to add additional staff.  This is when Scott Young and Richard Reis would join the team and begin supporting IT Services for ReadiTech. Along with growth of customers and maintaining customer networks, came the need to further educate our staff on the latest technologies.  In the world of technology, it is important to be certified in an array of technology disciplines, so customers can be assured of a company’s expertise and standout from the competition.  The ReadiTech staff would begin studying for months, attending boot camps, taking many practice tests and simulations in order to become...

Data Protection

My name is Brandon Huber and I’m a Network Assistant at ReadiTech.  As the newest member of the team I wanted to start with a brief introduction.  I grew up not far from where I live now in Edgeley, ND.  After high school I studied Criminal Justice as NDSU and joined the military after 9/11.  My experience in the Army has gone a long way to shape the person that I am today.  At the end of enlistment, I left the service with a renewed desire to protect others from the types of threats I met overseas.  That concept of protection and security has evolved over the years as we have advanced in our ability to use technology to connect. Unquestionably technology has improved all our lives with efficiency and new ways to communicate.  But with new connections comes new security risks to your valuable data.  Your data, or your digital identity, is all the unique information that is specific to you.  For instance, your social security number and the password to your computer.  It goes without saying that this information is incredibly valuable, not only to you but to hackers as well.  It’s been said that our data is the currency of tomorrow and the most valuable commodity we own.  For many the task of correctly protecting data can seem overwhelming.  As a business owner you are probably so heavy focused on taking care of your customers that you simply don’t have the resources available to become a security expert as well. Fortunately, we are here to help.  Everyday our security options continue to evolve to meet the...