From the category archives: Communications

Articles covering communications technologies such as Hosted VoIP Telephone Systems, Unified Communications, Microsoft Lync & Skype.

It's all coming together

As you will know from our previous columns, convergence and connectivity are the themes of 2016 and the mobile phone is finally joining the party. I think it is fair to say that traditionally, it has often been practical issues (such as signal strength at the MD’s house!) that have played a major role in the decision making for which carrier your company uses. What is the point of a great tariff if you never get a signal? The modern always-connected culture that has driven the rise of cloud-based solutions such as Office365 and VoIP telephony is now influencing the technology behind your mobile phone. Business users need to be connected to the tools they use from wherever they may be and this is about to take a leap forward. This summer will see the emergence of a new type of mobile experience, the phone you use will be able to constantly change its provider to give you the best experience possible. Bad signal at home, no problem your phone will hop on to the best alternate available. Being out of the ...

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From your correspondent - article 2

Read the article from the October edition of The Business written by our technology expert and key Account Manager, Simon Lunness. To get the full Business supplement, it is available here: Communication is the key I think we can all agree that good communication is fundamental to any successful business. Over the years, technology has transformed the way that companies communicate on all levels, with e-mail becoming a major player in the way people engage with one another. However, good old telecommunications is probably still chief amongst the tools we use to stay in touch and in keeping with our theme of improving your business through technology, we shine the spotlight on IP telephony or ‘VoIP’ as it is more commonly known.  Admittedly, VoIP had something of a shaky start. Excitement at the potential led many firms to rush headlong into it without the proper research or planning. Naively, many plugged Internet-ready phone ...

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A truly unlimited business phone system from just £12 per user per month

Are you getting a business advantage and real value for money from your current telecoms provider? Is your company truly efficient in the way that it communicates with customers, suppliers or even just internally with one another? Are you sure that calls are being taken on time, every time, across your organsation? If you answered 'No' to any of the above questions, you should talk to ITbuilder about their Horizon offering and turn that into a definite 'Yes'. Horizon is cloud technology provided on an affordable, subscription basis offering big-business communications features without any heavy up-front investment and a monthly rental that is very likely to be a reduction on your current phone costs.  Operated by a leading UK telecoms giant and brought to you by your local IT specialist, who are there 'For people in Business', you can rest assured that you have the right team on your side to adopt a thoroughly modern communication system and improve your business through techhnolog ...

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Top London Real Estate Firm Enjoys Horizon

The Client Dutch & Dutch (D&D) based in West Hampstead are one of North London’s leading estate agents for commercial and residential property sales and rentals. It is vital that their IT infrastructure and, in particular, their telephony can match the demands of the modern workplace. As a successful and extremely busy real estate agency, it is fundamental that their systems are as efficient as their own business operations. The London real estate market is fast moving and the company has to be able to manage its call answering so as not miss a single enquiry. This is where Dutch & Dutch approached ITbuilder to discuss the possibilities offered by Horizon Cloud Telephony.   The Technology Cloud telephony is the modern way for businesses to manage branch numbers, call routing, mobile reach and integration with computer systems to meet the needs of staff on the move. And because it is Cloud, or hosted, there is no box to install in the company premises, just the use ...

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Free Upgrade to Faster Broadband from the Government? Yes, Really.

It’s not often that we get something cool and completely free from the government, but by the looks of things that’s about to change because the British Government has just committed £150 million to the SuperConnected Cities programme. The programme is managed by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), a unit within the government dedicated to Culture, Media and Sport, that is enabling small businesses to consider faster, more reliable Internet services that may have been previously prohibitive due to to high installation and provisioning costs. Eligible companies are able to upgrade from ADSL broadband technologies to higher speed, more redundant services such as Wireless or Fibre circuits by applying for a Broadband Connection Voucher  with a value of up to £3,000. Why Faster Broadband is important If you have ever been blighted by slow or under-performing Internet speed at your place of work, you will already know how any delay in accessing or transmitting data c ...

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Which Email Account is Best For You?

We all have email accounts these days... it’s just as essential to daily life as the air we breathe but are you thinking about switching? There have been so big players in the email market for some time although some of them are now fading away- classic example... Hotmail.  Other big boys include Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, iCloud and Outlook so ITbuilder takes a look at the pros and cons of each service and what they can offer you.   Microsoft Best For Office Workers Worst For Over complicating Commands ITbuilder Rating: 4/5 Microsoft’s interface is globally recognised and is second nature to most office workers. We are all accustomed to the handy folder list on the left, the ability to drag and drop plus the ability to organise your files and view mail. Its popularity also means it is easy to schedule Outlook calendar meetings with contacts in other firms without the need to use an external software program or a PA!  It is also possible to add other POP3 ma ...

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What is BYOD? Pros & Cons

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device referring to the practice of staff using their Smartphones, tablets and laptops for work. If you were working in the 1980s or even the 1990s then you will remember a simpler time in terms of IT infrastructure. Remember when you just came to work and your big old PC was there on your desk... you switched it on and used it then went home and didn’t use it? Companies had tight control over their users and networks because predominantly it was just office based PCs with a few laptops thrown in for the directors and CEOs. Fast forward into 2014 and we have a completely different environment due to rapid advancements in technology combined with the low cost of personal devices. We can work from anywhere, connect via Wifi, send emails on our phones, access cloud hosted servers with our tablet and monitor team projects from anywhere in the world. It is the age of BYOD (bring your own device) and it is estimated that now 4 out of 5 office workers will use their own device ...

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VOIP ... What Your Phone Provider Doesn’t Want You To Know!

Let’s start at the beginning... if you haven’t heard of VOIP you are probably not alone. VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol which is a way of making phone calls over the internet without using a traditional landline. Are you using Skype? Well then you are using VOIP you just didn’t realise it! ITbuilder is seeing more and more clients converting their business needs to VOIP so let’s take a closer at what your phone provider doesn’t want you to know! VoIP can turn your standard Internet connection or WIFI into a way that you can make free calls. By bypassing the telephone companies you are also bypassing their call charges!. Three Ways to use VOIP  1.   ATA – Analogue Telephone Adaptor – Using an ATA you can connect your regular phone to your PC or internet connection to make a call. The ATA takes the analogue signal and converts it into digital data making the call possible.This is a way of adapting your existing setup but not one ...

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Can You Rely on Hosted Telephony?

Everyone is talking about cloud based hosted telephony but is it something you can truly rely on for your business? It is predicted that expenditure for cloud services will reach $155 billion this year and will then exceed $210 billion by 2016 so it is clear that expectations for growth are enormous.  That said, there seems to be some hesitancy amongst companies, even those who have embraced other modern technologies when it comes to cloud services.  Questioning hosted telephony is completely normal because, well, how can you trust something you cannot see?  It is also understandable because your business would be on its knees if its communications were to fail so can you really rely on it?  Top 5 Advantages of Hosted telephony •           No line rental charges, low initial set up costs & low monthly licence fees •           Easily upscaled or downscaled to sui ...

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Answering The Call of Integrated Cloud Telephony for your Business

  ITbuilder speaks to a lot of businesses about their telephony needs and many are concerned about costs spiralling out of control, staff mobile phones, missing business calls, compliance issues and much more. The aim is to give your staff the freedom to excel in their role whilst also maintaining control over your finances and of course your key focus – client calls.  ITbuilder introduces Horizon – the complete communications service for your business. Horizon is “in the cloud” telephony that puts business owners in the driving seat by providing extensive features which are all controlled and operated via a simple web interface. How Does It Work? All your devices both mobile and desktop are connected via IP Telephony so users only need dial one number! This means that even if you have regional offices you can use one unique number for your business. It also means that you will not suffer the usual telephony interruptions caused by storms and strikes at your telephon ...

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