NEC Named One of the 50 Most Innovative Companies

It is with great pride that I can announce NEC was chosen as one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group innovation survey. With thousands of senior level executives participating in this study, our commitment to improving the way people live, work, and communicate is gaining recognition from accolades such as this, which is a testament to the dedication of our organization.

A key component of this award was tied to research and development, an area NEC has always prioritized, leading to technology and solutions that have a positive impact on both business and society. With more than 65,000+ patents, pioneering IT, communications and biometrics technologies, NEC technology innovation has provided a solid foundation for this prestigious recognition.

Some of NEC’s more recent innovations:

NEC Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Smart City platforms
• Video analytics that can analyze millions of images in seconds
• Predictive analytics that calculates the landslide risk of hillsides
Automated Urban Surveillance and Smart Transportation solutions
• Smart City disaster response solutions
• Biometric health screening technology
Behavior analytics for crowd and event management

These important innovations improve the safety, security and operational efficiency required of today’s society, and when I look at our recent achievements, I know that we are making a difference.

Watch our 50th anniversary in North America video to learn more about our long history of innovation .

Meet the Riskiest User

Intermedia, “The Business Cloud” recently issued its 2015 Insider Risk Report.  The report looked at the security habits of 2000+ office workers according to age, company role, industry and other groupings.   According to Intermedia, “the findings fly in the face of conventional wisdom:  The most tech savvy employees are the ones most likely to create risk.”  Here are some key facts from the report:


  • 97% of employees have access to some form of sensitive or confidential information and 93% admit to engaging in at least one form of poor data security.


  •  Surprisingly, of all the job roles surveyed, it was the people in IT who reported the poorest security habits, including 28% who admitted they had accessed systems belonging to previous employers after they left the company.


  • 23% of Millennials (18-34), 12% of Gen X (35-54) and 5% of Boomers (55+) said they would take data from their companies if it would positively benefit them.


These findings were observed in both large and small organizations and seemed more pronounced among tech companies.  Read the full report HERE.

What can you do?  IT security is not just for IT.  You can focus on eliminating correcting 5 risky behaviors which were identified as most common by Intermedia:


  • Insecure Password Practices. Using the same password for business and personal applications, sharing passwords and storing passwords insecurely.


  • Shared accounts


  • Insecure file storage and transfer practices. This would include uploading company files to personal computers or personal cloud storage accounts without IT knowledge.


  • The use of unauthorized “Shadow IT” such as Dropbox.


  • Ex Employee Access. Ex-employees can represent a risk of malicious attacks, theft of corporate information or unauthorized access to information leading to data breaches and reputational damage.


See the Intermedia Report for additional information.


Whether you are an IT professional, a manager or small business owner, IT security is your responsibility.  As a technology company Canyon Telecom assists its customer with the selection and deployment of technology to support their businesses.

What is Customer Service?

Canyon Telecom knows Business Communications and Business Telecom in Phoenix AZ!


Customer service is an overused term these days.  What organization doesn’t suggest they provide excellent customer service?  But what does good customer service look like?  To paraphrase former U. S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it”.  Of course, Justice Stewart was referring to pornography, but it seems appropriate when discussing customer service as well.  For me, what’s most important is how an organization treats you when there is no immediate benefit to them – a variation on judging someone based on their behavior when no one is looking.


To us at Canyon Telecom, we also know it when we see it.  While we make mistakes in serving customers, our objective is to minimize those mistakes, admit them and correct them promptly, and do everything we can to exceed our customers’ expectations.


The owners of Canyon Telecom are both members of Rotary, the international service organization.


Our approach to business and to service, follows the tenets of the Rotary “Four Way Test of the Things We Think Say or Do”.


We find these guidelines to be an effective and simple guide to the way we do business.


First, is it the truth?


Second, is it fair to all concerned?


Third, does it build goodwill and better friendships?


And Fourth, is it beneficial to all concerned?


Surely a very simple set of guidelines, but then usually doing the right thing does not require elaborate manuals or rules.  Let’s look at the Four Way Test in the context of business.


Truth:  Integrity is the foundation of trust. Without integrity, it is impossible to build a relationship with customers.  As simple as it is, we strive to treat all customers with respect, recognizing that we are here to fulfill their need and in the process we need to cover our costs and earn a return on our investment.


Fairness. Fairness these days seems to mean different things to different people.  The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Fair as “marked by impartiality and honesty”.   We see fairness in business as making decisions and recommendations for customers and prospective customers which we believe to be in their best interest.  The key to fairness is that you do what is right and appropriate for that customer, even if it does not maximize your short term profits.


Goodwill and Better Friendships.  For a small business building “goodwill” is the essence of growing the business. Without goodwill there are no referrals and no references.  The business of Canyon Telecom has been built by building “goodwill and better friendships” which have resulted in countless return sales and referrals.  While we may not be “friends” with all our customers in the traditional sense, we treat them as we would treat friends by providing that little bit of unexpected “extra”, taking responsibility for problems – even if we didn’t cause them – and being polite and courteous even when someone else is having a stressful experience.


Beneficial to all concerned.  This relates back to fairness.  In any human interaction, whether business or personal, if the transaction or experience is lopsided someone will go way unhappy. Our objective at Canyon Telecom is to provide a quality product and service at a fair price. This doesn’t mean the lowest price it means the highest value.  The most rewarding experience I have in my 20 years in this business is hearing that we managed to exceed a customer’s expectations to the point they are willing to recommend us to an acquaintance.
I will leave you with this thought:  The next time you are on hold with an organization and the delay announcement (really, that’s what they are called) says “Your call is very important to us” ask yourself, if that was true why would you be on hold instead of talking to someone who can actually assist you?  I ask myself that all the time.


Questions?  Call our Fearless Leader, Mike, (602) 331-7224

Is the Desk Phone Dead?

We know Business Telecom and Business Communications in Phoenix, AZ!  For years now the sages of technology have told us the desk phone is dead. Soon users would have an application on their computers or perhaps mobile phones would simply replace the desk phone for most workers.  Well they were half right.  The desk phone is not dead – in fact, evidence is emerging that suggests the desk phone is here to stay. But the desk phone now has company.



Today’s increasingly mobile workforce requires more freedom to access corporate technology and communicate wherever and whenever necessary and certainly the new generation of workers expects their technology to wore seamlessly across platforms.   The challenge for corporate IT is downloading “Angry Birds” to your mobile phone presents no major hazard, but linking a variety of disparate devices, each with their own applications and internet access  – and doing so while maintaining the integrity of a corporate network can be a daunting task.


Today’s users expect to be able to take their personal and business communications – active calls, instant messaging, short text messaging and presence – with them where ever they go.  Today’s technology can allow for seamless movement from a mobile telephone, tablet or softphone to a desk phone and back, with the simple click of a button.  And can do so in a way which is secure and maintains the integrity of the corporate network.


Technology, like most things in life, does not always follow a straight line path and almost never follows the predictions of the “experts”. But eventually the demands of end users will help shape technology into something that adds to productivity of workers and allows them to better serve customers NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C™ is a complete, software-based, unified communications and collaboration solution that redefines the way a business and individuals communicate. It provides the necessary agility for today’s dynamic work environment and enables total control over how, when and where you choose to be reached – truly empowering your workforce.



Mike Hosking is the owner of Canyon Telecom Inc in Phoenix, an NEC dealer.

Cloud Solutions for your Business Communications: What does it really cost?



Cloud Part 2



In an earlier post we explored the need to truly understand who your cloud provider is and what happens if they are no longer around or you decide to make a change.  In the second of this series we will look at the cost of cloud services and whether they live up to their claim of being a less expensive way of doing business.  In looking at costs you need to consider total cost of ownership.  This is defined as the cost of a particular solution over a period of time which is appropriate for your business.

For a traditional or “premises” based solution, you need to consider the cost of acquisition, installation and support, including ongoing licensing costs. For a cloud-based solution you need to look at the cost of installation, monthly payments and service and support.  You should fully consider the cost of supporting a premises based system (space, cooling, updates and support).   Consider your organization’s normal IT refresh cycle to determine the time frame you should be evaluating.  Many cloud services tout converting capital expenditures into operating expenditures, and this may be a valid consideration for large public companies, but in my experience spending is spending and the key consideration is how much money you will spend to support a solution over a period of time.  Sure, $50 a month per user doesn’t sound like much, but if you have 10 users, over a period of three years your outlay is $18,000!   Once you can see the TCO, you can start to evaluate the intangibles such as access flexibility, support and other considerations and then you can make an appropriate cost benefit analysis.

Here are two illustrations.

Microsoft Office™:

Microsoft offers Office™ in a cloud version called Microsoft 365™.  It also offers Office as an installed program.  Let’s assume you have determined your lifecycle for MS Office is 36 months – in other words you would pay for an upgrade every 36 months.

Microsoft offers Office 365 Small Business Premium (cloud) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.  For a five user package the cost is $150 a month.  Over a period of 36 months the cost would be $5,400.

Office Professional 2013 includes essentially the same products, but is licensed and installed on a work station. A single license of this software is a one-time $400, or $2,000 for five users.

Of course you would need to weigh the advantages of having an “always current” system with the cloud version, as well as the convenience of being able to access your Office suite from wherever you have an internet connection. You would also need to consider that after 36 months you might need to license a newer version of the Office Suite.  Every business has different needs and a careful analysis of all the costs versus all the benefits would be necessary to pick the right solution for you.

Hosted Telephones versus a Telephone System

Hosted telephones have been around for decades.  Before the advent of VoIP, telephone companies offered a hosted service called “Centrex”, where the idea was to connect your individual telephones to a central, telephone company hosted PBX which would then provide access to various telephone system features and to telephone lines.  Today there are a plethora of companies offering essentially the same service, but using VoIP technology and the internet to connect telephones to a “hosted” telephone system, instead of copper lines.

A quick word to the wise here.  The quality of hosted telephone services varies widely and there is also a wide variation in quality of support.  If you decide a hosted solution is best for you, be very cautious in selecting your provider.

To present a reasonable comparison we are going to use a reputable national company’s pricing and compare it to the cost of a similarly equipped premises based telephone system and lines.  For this illustration we are assuming a system with 8 telephones and 4 lines, plus one fax line.

Hosted VoIP-

Monthly cost for 8 telephones, voice mail, automated attendant, directory listing and a fax line.  First year  – $435.  Second and third years –  $301.  One time set up costs: $275.  Total 36 month cost:  $12,719, or $44.16 per station per month over the term of the contract. And this is for a product which has an advertised cost of $28 a month.

Premises VoIP-

To determine the 36 month cost of a premises based telephone system, we calculated the equipment cost, including installation and a 36 month support and service plan, leased on a 36 month lease.  To that we added the cost of telephone lines for a reputable carrier.

The total cost of this solution over 36 months was $6,336 for the system, service and support, and $4,140 for telephone lines.  Total cost of ownership $10,476, or $36.38 per month per station.


You must carefully evaluate the total cost of ownership of whatever solution you are considering and then weigh the difference in cost against the benefits you perceive for each solution.  Sorting through these choices can be tedious and technical so choose an advisor who is competent and who you can trust.  At Canyon Telecom we offer both hosted and traditional voice solutions and we offer a no cost, no obligation evaluation of your options.

Next:  How Secure is Your Data in the Cloud?