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DSCI Connection – 1st Quarter 2016

In This Issue:

DSCI to Merge with TelePacific Communications, Creating Premier Nationwide Managed Services Provider

TelePacific Communications, a leading provider of managed services and business communications solutions, recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire DSCI. The transaction unites two highly successful regional companies to create the nation’s premier managed services provider, capable of delivering state-of-the-art unified communications, managed IT service, continuity and cloud solutions across the entire country.

Both DSCI and TelePacific offer an evolving suite of network services, paired with a shared DNA of industry-leading personalized customer service. With this merger, DSCI’s unified communications and managed IT services will become key elements in the comprehensive portfolio of continuity, cloud and connectivity solutions TelePacific already brings to its more than 35,000 business customers.

Moving forward, all current DSCI customers will continue to receive the same services they do today, and they will continue to work with the DSCI team. They will also be able to take advantage of TelePacific’s remarkable Ethernet Ecosystem and its deep and broad set of continuity solutions, managed security services, network resources and SSAE-16 datacenters.

DSCI will continue to operate under its own name as a TelePacific company, and it will remain under the leadership of its senior management team.

For more information, refer to the customer FAQ on our website or feel free to contact us at any time.

Avoiding Ransomware

By Kettric Midura, Director of Service Delivery, DSCI

One of the most aggressive forms of cyber attacks developed in recent years has been ransomware. It’s pretty simple: a small piece of software that is designed to seek out and encrypt anything it can access for files.  It hides in plain sight and may look like an email or any executable file on the net. Once you download and install it, it quickly encrypts your life or business and demands money to decrypt them again. The catch? If you pay the ransom, you are sometimes able to get your files back.  The problem is, like most businesses, a successful model means the money you pay goes to help the company make a better product and ensure they will be around long term.

Like with most viruses, the strategies that work best are education, a great backup process, keeping your systems patched and updated, and having a decent anti-virus/anti-malware solution.  In my experience, education has been the best strategy.

Informed users are better equipped to identify and avoid things that might not seem right. Those users are not going to be downloading and installing random software and games from sources they didn’t go out and find themselves at the app stores or download sites. They are going to be able to spot the difference between a web page popup and a legitimate error message from their computer’s operating system.  They are also going to be able to understand what to do when something fishy is going on with their computers. Taking the time to educate all of your users is a daunting task, but in the end, it will save you time and money.

A great backup solution will help mitigate the more aggressive and sneaky programs that might be accidentally or, in rare cases, intentionally installed by a user.  Most of our clients that are running the latest backup technologies have backups that run incrementally, as frequently as every 30 minutes. The last few ransomware-infected clients have been able to recover the encrypted files in a very short period of time without much additional cost, simply by restoring the affected files after the ransomware was removed.

Keeping your systems patched and updated with the latest security updates helps to minimize the number of ways a piece of ransomware might be able to affect your systems.  With the advent of Windows 10, these updates are available much more frequently than in the past, and most often are installed automatically without having to interrupt your day. With older operating systems like Windows 7, it’s vital to have a consistent approach to installing patches to ensure your users are able to work efficiently and securely.

Lastly, having a good anti-virus/anti-malware product on your system will help catch or block much of the more common malicious software. As scanning technologies continue to improve, they are getting better at identifying suspect software in real time. There are many top-tier security software suites available. Find one that works best for you and manage it closely.

Even one infected system with the right access credentials could encrypt your entire life or business. Take the time to educate, backup, patch, and virus-scan your environment regularly, or find someone that can do it for you. Without it, you could end up paying a huge sum of money out to criminals, ensuring others run into ever more powerful ransomware.

New Version of UCx for Desktop Now Available

UCx ScreenshotAn updated version of the UCx for Desktop application for Windows and Mac is now available for download at www.dscicorp.com/ucx-install.

Although it is not mandatory to install this new version, we recommend upgrading so you can take advantage of the latest features. Version 21.3.2 includes enhancements such as an updated UI appearance and a streamlined Desktop Sharing function.

We hope you enjoy the new and improved features of the upgraded UCx application. If you have any questions about the upgrade process, please feel free to contact DSCI Customer Care.

How Does My DSCI Call Center Deliver Calls? It’s Magic, Right?

By Andrew Pitts, Tier-2 Technical Support Supervisor, DSCI

Sure, your business is all about customer service, and you’ve been using a call center to handle your incoming calls for what seems like forever.  But just when it feels like everything has settled into its proper place, you’re ambushed again by negative feedback from your important clients about wait time in your queue!  How does this keep happening?!  What can be done to get control of the queue once and for all?

Let’s take a look at how a DSCI Call Center determines what should be done with each incoming call.

It all starts with ACD Routing, or Automatic Call Delivery. That’s the logic the system uses to assess each incoming call and determine how that call should be handled.

This basic diagram shows how the call is in a queued state before the system takes any routing action.  Even if the call is immediately delivered to a call center agent, it is technically in a queued state for a moment.

You can see how when each call initially connects and becomes queued, the system has to assess the current state of the agents in the queue before the call can be re-routed.  Something as simple as failing to have agents signed in can dramatically impact the outcome of each call.

If you’ve never considered the answers to questions such as:

  • What should my queue capacity be?
  • What is an acceptable amount of wait time for the caller?
  • Are my agents managing their ACD state in the queue effectively?
  • Do I allow enough (or too much) time for my Overflow Routing Policy?

…you may continue to be surprised by the way your call center handles your callers!

There is a balance between the settings that your queue uses to assess calls.  Too much of a setting and callers might be stuck holding in the queue for unacceptable amounts of time.  Too little of a setting and too many callers might be reaching your answering service.

DSCI’s Customer Care Team is always ready to take you on a guided tour of how your call center is configured and help you to understand how the calls should behave in queue.  Even if you’ve been through this in detail in the past, the nature of your business may have moved on and it might be time for a tune-up!

You can reach DSCI’s Customer Care Team any time 24×7 at 877-344-7441 for a consult.

Did You Know?

Here’s some interesting tidbits of information for your next coffee-break conversation.

51: Percentage of streaming video consumers who experience “buffer rage”

We’ve all been there. You’ve just settled in on the couch to watch your favorite movie on your streaming service of choice… but the movie fails to load. According to one study, half of all people in this situation will experience “buffer rage,” defined as “a state of uncontrollable fury or violent anger induced by the delayed or interrupted enjoyment of streaming video content from over-the-top (OTT) services.” Before you throw your tablet across the living room in anger, check out An Internet Bandwidth Explanation That Won’t Put You to Sleep for a refresher on how your bandwidth works.

70: Number of high-tech buses to roll out on the streets of New York City

Traveling by bus or train can give you the means to stay productive while you commute to work. However, it all depends on having a full battery and a strong signal on your cell phone. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has found a solution to keep New Yorkers connected: wi-fi enabled buses with USB charging ports for passengers. 70 of these high-tech buses will hit the streets of Queens later this year, and the MTA plans to retrofit all of its buses with wi-fi and USB technology by the end of next year.

$479,201: Fundraising result of the Fight for Air Climb

DSCI was the start-line sponsor of the Fight for Air Climb, a fundraiser for the American Lung Association of the Northeast, on February 6th. In this “vertical road race,” participants climb the stairs up to the 41st floor of One Boston Place, Boston’s third-tallest building. It is especially inspiring to see teams of firefighters complete this climb in full gear. Overall, the event raised nearly half a million dollars in support of healthy lungs and clean air.

Photos from Fight for Air Climb Boston 2016