SIP Trunking encompasses all your Communications requirements

SIP Trunking encompasses all your Communications requirements

Another abbreviation for your ever-growing list, this time, however, it’s an important one.

In the world of communications, ISDN, VoIP & PBX… it’s time for SIP to take the centre stage, with its ability to save you a lot of time, but most crucially, money.

 

So, what is SIP Trunking?

Session Initiation Protocol, more frequently known as just SIP. An application layer protocol used to create and terminate data and voice transfers, also a type of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which refers to calls distributed over the internet.

VoIP is based completely on SIP, using a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to send and receive calls. Replacing the soon to be obsolete Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), a system that transmitted data and voice digitally over physical wires.

 

Is SIP worth thinking about?

Worst case scenario, your business is still using ISDN & a PBX to facilitate your calls, in which you’re perhaps thinking, what’s wrong with ISDN…?

When it launched back in 1986, (yes, it’s that old), it was a great choice for businesses to adopt. The ability to deliver voice and data over one line, it was a technology fantasy, nowadays there is a range of better, improved options available.

If you’re contemplating a switch, not only is it cheaper to maintain; it’s also lower costs on a day-to-day basis… you could save up to 50% on line rentals and up to 25% or more on call costs. With a lot of SIP providers offering free internal calls, which is very handy for medium-sized businesses.

 

Making the big move to SIP Trunking

With its elasticity and ease of growth, SIP offers you reliability in your business. You had need not to worry about disturbance or outgrowing your premises, SIP Trunking can support growth in a graceful manner.

SIP Trunking isn’t the only option out there, in which you may be thinking – If you don’t have a PBX, Cloud Hosting Telephony is a brilliant alternative, which could very well be the future of communications throughout your business.

With ISDN ending in 2025, as announced by BT themselves, the benefits of SIP can change the way you move forward as a business.

 

We’re iTeam.

If you’re bewildered by the prospect of reviewing your Comms & connectivity, we can help.

We’ll get to know your business and create the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost. Please contact the team today.

DON’T GET HELD BACK BY SLOW BROADBAND SPEEDS!

DON’T GET HELD BACK BY SLOW BROADBAND SPEEDS!

Just how good is your broadband speed?

Currently, internet connectivity is as important to our livelihoods as flowing water. Despite being in the country’s capital, you might still be suffering from a lack of full-fibre broadband, which is holding back the efficiency of your business and is ultimately costing you time & money.

But there are options available – just because the great big network operators aren’t connecting your building to superfast services, doesn’t mean that you can’t get admission to faster services via different means.

 

SOUNDS PRICEY…

Yes, as you would expect, connecting a dedicated fibre line (a Fibre Leased Line) into your business is pricier when compared to out-of-date broadband services. But! With most businesses, this doesn’t mean you have to surge your comms budget. If you are still using ISDN lines for your telephony, then you have some varieties.

ISDN, still the staple of voice infrastructures for most businesses, has its end-of-life already in the distance following well above 30 years of use. BT have announced their intentions to ‘switch off’ all these services by 2025, and therefore drive forward the implementation of VoIP (Voice-over-IP) telephony by businesses in the country.

By choosing to bin your use of ISDN whenever your contract ends, you can benefit from the immediate cost savings, which in turn can fuel the budget for the Fibre Leased Line.

 

WHAT DO I DO ABOUT TELEPHONE CALLS?

By revamping to full-fibre, you will have the internet speed & line consistency to make VoIP a prospect. VoIP instead carries your voice calls over your broadband connection, and no longer over the copper ISDN cables.

Employing VoIP doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable & pricey experience – there are so many exclusive services and choices available these days, with such a competitive marketplace ensuring costs are kept to a minimum. Switching from older forms of telephony doesn’t mean you have to leave your partners behind; you can swiftly & easily port these across onto VoIP, enabling you to carry on making & receiving calls as you always have.

 

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

There are several different facets of such a project… but, we’re here to help.

At iTeam, we specialise in learning our clients’ business and best-applying security technology to their needs.

If you would appreciate a free brief discussion about your operational challenges & to explore the threats to your business, please get in touch today.

SAVE MONEY & CUT ISDN TELEPHONY

SAVE MONEY & CUT ISDN TELEPHONY

Are you still using ISDN in your business…?

As opposed to PSTN, (Analogue Lines), that are usually used at home for your phone & broadband line, ISDN, (Integrated Services Digital Network), combines multiple pairs of copper cables, authorising businesses to operate with several telephone calls at once. Following the pattern with all legacy forms of communication, ISDN is pricey and restrictive; often seeing businesses spend several hundreds of pounds per quarter for telephone lines & calls alone.

ISDN is the still the chief of voice communications for most businesses, but the end-of-life is already in the distance for this 30 plus-year-old technology. BT have aired their intentions to ‘switch off’ all these services by 2025, and therefore drive forward the adoption of VoIP (Voice-over-IP) telephony by trades up and down the country.

 

SHALL I CHANGE OVER NOW?

There has never been a better time to examine your communications by choosing to axe your use of ISDN whenever your contract ends. You can benefit from the instantaneous cost savings while growing your elasticity by moving to VoIP technology.

Introducing VoIP shouldn’t be a distressing & pricey experience – there are many different services and options available these days, with such a competitive marketplace ensuring costs are kept to a minimum. Switching from older forms of telephony doesn’t mean you have to leave your numbers behind; you can promptly & easily port these crossways onto VoIP, enabling you to carry on making & receiving calls as you always have.

 

WHAT HAPPENS TO MY INTERNET CONNECTIVITY?

Switching from ISDN to VoIP means that your calls will no longer be petrified over those pairs of copper cables, but instead across your upmarket broadband connection. Plausibly, this means you’ll require a reasonably swift & steady internet connection to handle your volume of voice traffic, in addition to the data usage for visiting websites, sending/receiving emails and using cloud tools.

In some areas this isn’t an instantaneous possibility – if your business suffers from slow ADSL speeds, and has yet to benefit from access to a fibre connection of some form, you may be anxious about the prospect of doing away with the stability of ISDN.

But! In many cases, we’ve seen the savings made from switching from ISDN to VOIP aid in the explanation and funding of a dedicated fibre, (known as a Leased Line), connection. By upgrading to a Leased Line, you’ll benefit from a superfast fibre connection directly from your premises to the BT Exchange and achieve a much quicker connection, which is stable and supported by the network operator on a contractual service level agreement.

As Leased Lines are run on a dispersed basis to each premises, you are not constrained to the restrictions of the current Openreach fibre rollout plans – which sees fibre run only from the Exchange to the local cabinets, (with copper still being used between your building & the cabinet as before). Leased Lines, among various other connectivity options, are open to businesses wherever you may be sited.

With the extra speed & data capacity brought with the installation of a Leased Line, any pain of switching to VoIP is eliminated. Your Leased Line would be more than suitable to carry your voice traffic over VoIP, meanwhile providing your team with a much faster & reliable connection to the internet than ever before.

 

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

There are several different facets of such a project… but, we’re here to help.

At iTeam, we specialise in learning our clients’ business and best-applying security technology to their needs.

If you would appreciate a free brief discussion about your operational challenges & to explore the threats to your business, please get in touch today

10 ways to… Cope with a demanding workload

10 ways to… Cope with a demanding workload

It can be easier said than done when you’ve got 101 things to do, but remaining organised and prioritising tasks can help you to cope while maximising your productivity. These tips are intended to help you get through.

1. Create to-do lists

Don’t keep it all in your head. At the beginning of each day, write on one sheet of paper what you need to get done and by when. Rank tasks according to importance or urgency. It will help you to structure your day and focus your mind. Setting your workload out in black and white will give you a realistic picture of which tasks you need to complete. Overestimating or underestimating workload can both have bad consequences.

2. Review your workload

Are there tasks that always get neglected? If you find you’re avoiding something regularly, could somebody else do it for you? Consider delegating tasks, either to someone within or outside of your business. If that’s not practical – you’ll just have to get on with it. Try setting aside some time each week for jobs you dislike. Once they’re out of the way, you’re free to get on with the more enjoyable aspects of running your own business.

3. Remember the 80:20 rule

It’s quite simple. To paraphrase, 80% of productivity is the result of 20% of the things we do. Try to identify the 20% that matter, and concentrate on such tasks. If possible, give more time to them, as this will enable you to be more productive.

4. Set realistic deadlines

Look at your to-do list and estimate how much time each task requires. Don’t set aside too much or too little time. Stick to your timescales. Knowing you only have a set amount of time to complete a task can keep you focussed and prevent you from dragging your feet. The end result – you get more done during the day.

5. Expect the unexpected

Inevitably, you will be faced with unexpected requests during the day – either face to face, via email or phone call. It happens to us all. When they arise, decide when they need to be done and add them to your list. If something is urgent, do it straight away, if possible. If it can wait, stay focused on what you were doing.

6. Don’t try to juggle too many tasks

This can be easier said than done when you’re a busy business owner, but the danger of trying to take on too many things at once can mean you end up doing some or none of them well. Deal with one at a time and finish each one before starting the next.

7. Don’t let your inbox dictate your day

If you get 50 mails a day, potentially this amounts to 50 interruptions. Don’t check your inbox every time you see or hear a message alert. Try turning audible message alerts off so that you are not disturbed and allocate a time when you will check your inbox, say, every half hour or hour.

8. Don’t get distracted by personal stuff

Leave checking personal emails until lunchtime or after hours. That applies to web browsing and social networking sites, too. You must stay focussed on your work.

9. Don’t just go for quick and ‘easy wins’

Just because some tasks are boring or more difficult doesn’t mean you should avoid them. It’s all about timing. Decide when tasks need to be completed and prioritise your workload on that basis. It will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders when you’ve completed a tough or arduous task.

10. Monitor your performance

Take a few minutes to look at your to-do lists at the end of the week. Which tasks took longer than expected? Why? How could you speed up? Do you have unrealistic expectations of your ability? Do you need help? Don’t focus solely on the negatives. Also recognise your strengths and your ability to manage certain tasks well.

Need to recover that one vital file, but you must restore the whole Business to do so?

Need to recover that one vital file, but you must restore the whole Business to do so?

Ever used a sledgehammer to open a small nut?

Probably not, but you get where we’re heading with this.

If you’ve lost your entire system and need to recover everything at once, most backup tools have you covered. But if you need to recover one specific file or folder without having to restore your entire server, a lot of tools can let you down.

Whether a single file has corrupted itself, or worst-case scenario, you’ve been targeted by a cyber-attack; there is rarely an easy way to retrieve back just that one individual file (and quickly).

You end up spending hours restoring the entire Business system, unnecessarily rebooting all your data back to how it was a yesterday, or worse, a week beforehand. Resulting in a loss of all those new and updated files in the interim.

Meaning multiple copies need to be saved and moved for them to be re-uploaded once the restoration has been complete.

A mess.

 

Is there a feature available for individual file restoration?

Yes, it’s called Granular Recovery Technology, or Granular Recovery for short. A service missed from several the leading backup vendors.

Granular Recovery is your simple solution in recovering those individual files you lost in accidental deletion, corruption or via a cyber-attack; gone are the days you must perform a full recovery.

The ability to search for important files that lie somewhere in the corner of a backup set, mark them and get them recovered, while the rest of the backup data pile remains untouched.

Swiftly providing you access back to that one file in minutes, rather than hours or days.

 

Why should we use it?

There are a variety of reasons why you should consider a backup service that has Granular Recovery built in as standard.

However, the main and most important advantage and why you should use Granular recovery, is the economy of time to restore only the objects needed, and a greater protection from mishaps and undesired data changes that can occur with a full restoration.

Therefore, a good granular restore feature saves your efforts and oodles of data!

The phrase “needle in a haystack” comes to mind, with the inevitable disappointment when you begin a task with an almost impossible feeling.

With Granular Recovery, it makes finding that needle possible, not only possible but quite easily, along with a few others you didn’t know about either!

 

Want to get the best solution for your business?

At iTeam, we take a security first approach to technology – ensuring our client’s systems are best protected.

If you have any concerns, questions or simply want to explore how to better secure your business, please do get in touch with the team for a FREE demonstration, consultation to explore how exposed your business might actually be and identify actions to take.

To book a consultation or to arrange a further discussion, please get in touch via our form below, call 03330 507 690 or email Chris on cwatson@iteam.co.uk.

Keeping the lights on when all else fails

Keeping the lights on when all else fails

Being able to recover from a disaster is one thing…

An IT disaster, whether that’s the loss of a few files or the outage of your entire system following a cyber-attack, can be catastrophic to the operation of your business. If you have a professional backup service in place, there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to recover and get back on your feet. But, have you ever considered the time that a full-scale recovery might take?

If you need to download backup files from the cloud, it can take hours, or even days, to get access back to your data. That’s before you start the recovery process of restoring the data & services to their rightful place, and ensuring your users successfully regain access.

As the adage says, time is money. An IT outage, however large or small, can cost you a fortune.

 

…but how can you maintain the continuity of your business operations during that downtime?

Business Continuity, (“BC”), is the often forgotten third sister to Backup & Disaster Recovery.

BC doesn’t have to be an expensive enterprise-grade solution, it should be standard operating practice, (which will likely include an IT platform of some kind), that is both commercially & technically appropriate to the way you work. Your industry, size, the types of software & data you process, and even your geography, all play a part in the style of Business Continuity process your business should adopt.

Where IT is concerned, there are several BC puzzle pieces that can come together to complete an entire continuity solution, which is designed to meet a number of likely disaster outcomes.

At a lower level; a local server failover can provide you with continuity in the event of losing the operation of your main server. At a higher level; your local server failover can be paired with a cloud-based service that offers failover to a cloud hosted platform in the event of a total loss of access to your office premises.

If your business already operates mostly, or entirely, from cloud-based services you may be not likely to have a need for a recovery failover. Your BC plan might simply be centred around users having access to IT devices and internet connectivity from an off-site location.

 

Build a plan

All businesses regardless of their size or industry should have a Business Continuity plan that factors in any number of possible disaster outcomes, and how you will respond to ensure the continuity of operations are maintained.

Your IT partner should be best placed to understand the intricacies of your business operation, and of your IT services, to support you in mapping out a suitable BC plan.

Your IT may require investment as a part of this review to ensure you are truly defended, or, you may simply require documentation, training & support for your team to be able to access and function efficiently with the existing tools you have.

 

Want to get the best solution for your business?

At iTeam, we take a security first approach to technology – ensuring our client’s systems are best protected.

If you have any concerns, questions or simply want to explore how to better secure your business, please do get in touch with the team for a FREE demonstration, consultation to explore how exposed your business might actually be and identify actions to take.

To book a consultation or to arrange a further discussion, please get in touch via our form below, call 03330 507 690 or email Chris on cwatson@iteam.co.uk.