Your nonprofit needs to ensure its network bandwidth is powerful enough to meet your requirements, whether its handling large file transfers, operating a VoIP phone system, or simply providing Internet access to your staff. We spoke with Ali Niroo, Founding Partner at Converged Network Services Group, about the most common broadband issues nonprofits face and how they can be resolved.
Question: What is bandwidth control – and why is it important for nonprofits?
Answer: In the nonprofit space there are many challenges that effect your day-to-day, but bandwidth does not have to be one of them. As a non-profit, you aim to get your money’s worth out of your data connection. If this rings true, then you’ve probably ran into inevitable issues with data congestion on your network. Your network performance can suffer from a range of causes: from your staff overusing the connection for personal use, to cloud services like Office 365 utilizing large amounts of usage as the program backs up your files to off-site servers.
Question: How can nonprofits prioritize their bandwidth?
Answer: Similar to the pipes that provide your home with water – your network is only capable of delivering so much at the same time. This means that it’s vital you ensure the water gets to the essentials first. Before say, filling up the pool in your backyard – you’d want your water to be able to fill up your sink, toilets, and showers first – and the same goes for your organization’s network. Use your bandwidth efficiently, so that you don’t have to worry about running out of usability where it’s truly needed.
Question: How can you tell if you have enough bandwidth?
Answer: Here are some common symptoms of an over-utilized network:
- Not enough available bandwidth to integrate CRM software and other cloud services/ SaaS applications.
- Decreased quality of calls on VoIP connections.
- Not enough bandwidth for new staff and/or larger projects that effect day-to-day operations.
- Staff overusing the organization’s connections due to personal use.
- Donor software operating slowly and missing connections.
Question: How can a nonprofit nurse its network back to life?
Answer: There are a number of methods that nonprofits can implement to control bandwidth. Here are a few to keep in mind:
- Set up a second service that will control your VoIP calls – this will ensure that your calls remain high-quality even if your office internet connection is exhausted.
- Manage traffic – give your organization plenty of room to integrate modern nonprofit fundraising CRM software, so your fundraising team isn't interrupted by network issues.
- Enable managed routers – tap an IT expert to manage your router and ensure it devotes enough bandwidth to keep your applications running smoothly.
- Gain full visibility and control with managed routers – manage the flow of traffic and prioritize applications that pair well with critical donor systems.
- Increase bandwidth -- if your nonprofit is growing quickly, you may want to consider expanding your bandwidth so that it can grow with your organization.
If you need help optimizing your nonprofit's network bandwidth, please schedule a free consultation with a communications expert at Tech Impact. We can help you create scalable solutions that grow as your organization grows.