As we enter the 4th week of lockdown and into another 3 week extension of the current UK restrictions, many businesses are getting used to the new way of working. What may have been temporary measures a few weeks ago, is now fast becoming the new norm!
So, as we prepare for an extended lockdown and more home working, what are the best options for running your business communications?
Computers in the cloud
You may have heard of cloud computing before, and many of us were using some elements of cloud computing such as software services like Office 365 or Xero accounts software. However, with many people unable to access their computers in the office, how do you operate your business when you are used to saving things on the office server?
There are a couple of ways you can get round this, firstly as many people have done, you can use a VPN connection to connect back to your office to access the files on your network. However the more users you have doing this, the slower your connection will be and soon you could grind to a snails pace when trying to access your files. A second way of accessing your office computers might be to use a remote access program such as Teamviewer, but this can also be very slow at times, especially if your internet connection isnt that great! A much better way would be to host your computers in the cloud.
Many people don’t realise it, but you can not only run all your Windows Servers in the cloud, but you can also run Windows Desktop computers in the cloud too! This can enable you to access your files much quicker by remotely connecting to your desktop PC in a data centre. Hosted desktops are ideal if you want to access the same computer from any device, or from any location in the world, and you can pickup your work from wherever you left off!
Hosted phone systems
When you are absent from your office, how do you access your phones and answer calls? Well many businesses have just set diverts on their phone systems to go to their home numbers or mobiles. The only problem with this is you can’t easily transfer calls or communicate with a colleague, and often you can’t usually accept more than one call at a time. A hosted phone system is essentially a telephone system that operates in the cloud, so much like cloud computing you can access your phone system from anywhere with an internet connection.
With a hosted phone system, not only can you operate your phones across multiple locations, but you also can operate on multiple devices too! So you may have a deskphone, or a cordless, or a softphone app running on your mobile device. All of them operate in the same way and allow you to make and receive calls just as if you were in the office. Whats more, you’re not paying any call charges for diverting your calls. So having an extension in each staff member’s home is easy, and they operate as internal extensions – just as they would if there were all in the office!
Trouble with your broadband?
Working from home, streaming videos, making zoom calls, whilst the kids are all watching youtube or tiktok… it all adds up, and some people have found that their broadband just isnt fast enough to handle everything all at once. Ideally you would have a separate broadband line for business use, so that it doesn’t get affected by anything else running in the household. However, due to the lockdown its not possible to get a new broadband line installed for the foreseeable future. So what can you do?
Well, its not a problem if you use a mobile data connection! If you use a 4G router with an eSIM installed, you can automatically connect to the strongest mobile network in your area which gives the best speed. Connecting via a cable or using wireless is just the same as connecting to your home broadband, but with the advantage of not needing to plug into a telephone line. Even better is the fact that you can get this connection within 24 hours, and it will give you similar speeds that you currently get from a standard broadband connection.
How can we help?
Nxcoms has always prided itself on enabling its business customers to work from any location and on any device, so we have many years of experience helping businesses communicate over the internet.
Why not give us a call on 0161 711 1100 and tell us what is causing you problems during the lockdown and we are sure we’ll have the right solution for you!
By now, you’ve probably come to terms with the fact that you’re going to be working at home for the foreseeable. Your commute has been replaced with a lie-in and your dog is happier than ever.
However, one thing you may be struggling to manage is your productivity. What’s more, digital communication isn’t always as effective as face-to-face communication with messages being misread, misinterpreted – or in some cases, ignored.
But we’re here to help! We pride ourselves on connecting people, and if you’re unsure on the next best step for optimising performance, we’re on-hand to recommend a solution.
So, let’s work together
Easy steps to getting agile
You might not be used to having staff out of the office. But we’ve got a few tips and tools we think might help:
• Use cloud desktops and servers to operate your computers from any location
• Have morning video calls with your team to keep up business continuity
• Use Microsoft Teams app to chat or video call colleagues through your computer
• Adopt project management software like Trello to visualise your team’s workflow
• Create a channel for staff comms that isn’t on social media
• Connect your devices anywhere via 4G using e-SIMs
• Switch your phone calls to voip to operate from anywhere
• Cut line costs and turn personal devices into work phones with our voip softphone
Each of the above will help keep you connected, with the latter being an option we can set you up with ourselves today.
If you need urgent support or are struggling with your connectivity,
please call 0161 711 1100 and we’ll help get you back online.
VoIP makes working from anywhere easy
One solution to the drop in productivity that could result from remote working is VoIP phone systems.
Ideal for businesses seeking a feature-rich device without paying upfront cash, these phones are simple to use and easy to install.
And, as a result of choosing hosted phone systems you get to cut line rental costs and enjoy free calls to other VoIP users.
Using our hosted phone system you can get up and running in seconds and access your calls through our softphone app from anywhere!
Get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to install
Safely access company data from your own home
Ask any expert and they’ll tell you the same thing. Remote working or even bring your own device policies aren’t safe, unless you’re using hosted desktops.
Using the cloud, hosted desktops allow users to access their company desktop via the internet without relying on hardware.
You get to enjoy lower maintenance costs, your staff benefit from flexible working and everyone can rest knowing their actions are covered entirely by the company’s cybersecurity procedures.
Find out more
We want you to know that like every other business, we’re doing everything we can to get through this and help others.
Which is why if you’d be interested in more tips and techniques for increasing your connectivity or communication, you can check out our blog or speak to a member of the team.
Until then, stay safe.
It’s annoying, isn’t it? Having to pace around the office until you find that one sweet spot where your network can actually get signal. As you’re tied to a specific mobile provider, you can’t always get the best signal for the area that you’re in. Instead, you have to get the best signal that your supplier provides, and sometimes that might be weaker than other mobile networks.
But now, just like roaming abroad, you can move dynamically between providers in the UK using our secure eSIM! No hassle, no hardware, just seamless swapping. We’re finally giving meaning to ‘dead as a dongle’.
Still no idea what we’re on about? Let us break it down.
So… what is an eSIM?
In short, it’s what it says on the tin. An electronic SIM card that can be programmed to accept any mobile phone provider.
They come in two formats – a traditional card-based SIM card which will work with any provider, or an eSIM virtual card which is rooted within a mobile device.
In fact, if you’re the proud owner of any of Apple’s latest iPhones or Google Pixel 3, you’ll notice there’s already support for an eSIM.
Okay. But why is that useful?
These clever eSIMs can automatically switch networks, according to the one which has the strongest signal. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be in an area without a signal. If one network has a very weak signal, another network may be stronger and the eSIM will automatically switch without you needing to do anything at all.
For example, if you run 4G mobile data locations such as building site offices, CCTV sites, parking meters or traffic control systems, you no longer need to go out and change SIMs if your existing carrier goes offline. Your devices will switch automatically saving a huge amount of downtime.
Plus, if you transfer your devices to a new location, for example a new building site, you may find that a different carrier has a better signal in the new location. Using an eSIM means you don’t have to change anything in your setup – the carrier will be automatically changed to the best signal in your area. Our eSIMs also work internationally with 450 networks over 190 countries worldwide.
In essence, you can enjoy optimal connectivity anywhere in the UK – and globally!
I’m on-board. What’s the next step?
Just a short chat with a member of our team!
Poor signal shouldn’t prevent you from meeting your business aims, which is why at Nxcoms, we’ve made it as easy as possible for you to get connection wherever you are.
Whether you’re on the move or looking to streamline your internal comms we’ve got the solution for you.
So, what are you waiting for?
Enhance your communication today by dropping us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0161 711 1100.
Nowadays, most businesses enjoy the flexibility of remote working. And, even when your staff are on site, they’re probably using their mobiles to deal with work-related matters.
Sure, it’s boosted productivity. But it’s left a gaping hole where security is concerned. And, if you want to get serious about cybersecurity, you need to turn your attention to all devices – on and off the desk.
Enter into the picture: Private APN.
Ok, fair enough – that might not mean anything to you. But, when you realise what a Private APN can do for your business, we guarantee you’ll want to know even more about where to get one…
Go on, then – what’s a Private APN?
Before we dive into Private APNs, we should probably explain what APN itself stands for: Access Point Name.
In short, it’s a point of entry onto an IP network for a mobile device allowing your staff to connect to the mobile network, and wider internet beyond.
To get onto the internet, mobiles devices use the APN provided by the mobile carrier, but you are sharing this network with thousands of other mobile users. Furthermore, you cannot remotely access your device externally as the mobile provider prevents this. In order to remotely access a device, such as a router, CCTV device, smartmeter or server, you have to request a fixed IP connection from your mobile provider; this is not only much more expensive, but leaves your device fully open to the internet without any protection from hackers whatsoever.
That’s where a Private APN comes in. This type of connection gives you your very own private network on a mobile device – securing all your data, offering easy but secure accessibility, and the ability to connect all of your devices together as if they were on your internal office network.
Do I need one?
If you’re dealing with any type of delicate information, or require secure remote access to your devices, then a Private APN is a game changer.
Customer data is like catnip for cyber thieves. And when you’re accessing company data from a mobile device, you’re opening the door to opportunists.
In just minutes, they can dip in and take all the digits needed to make a fortune – and when that happens, your business is liable. Your reputation is in tatters, customer trust is crushed, and the company bank account is left dry as you’re forced to pay big fines.
A Private APN, however, establishes a secure line on devices and keeps data protected 24/7.
Right. So, is a Private APN suitable for me?
Well, that depends.
If your team are a modest size and mobile data is working just fine for the odd task you’re using it for, then you can afford to work off standard data SIMs.
However, if you need to access mobile devices remotely, the only option up until now has been to use fixed IP data SIMs. There’s no avoiding that cyber criminals see these kind of connections as an open goal.
Private APNs replace fixed IP SIMs, prioritising security and allowing you to access your devices remotely without opening them to the wider internet.
Unsure of your needs?
No worries. At Nxcoms, we’re happy to walk you through the benefits of a Private APN without selling you what you don’t need. So, let us paint a clearer picture and email email@example.com or call 0161 711 1100 today.
Alright, brass tacks: business internet is boring. We know it. You know it. Let’s not pretend it’s any more invigorating than watching paint dry.
But here’s another fact: failing to upgrade your network is going to seriously set your business back… if it isn’t doing so already.
If you sit there and do nothing about your internet, you’re courting disaster. Don’t wait for these problems to fall on top of you like a tonne of bricks. Read our bull-free blog to find a resolution.
Your current solution is probably insufficient
Do sluggish internet speeds ever bring your business to a crawl? You’re not alone. While 95% of the UK now has ‘superfast broadband’, the reality of what ‘fast’ looks like isn’t keeping pace.
Most ‘superfast’ connections still depend on copper telephone wires, which are limited to speeds of only 80Mbs – at best. It’s easy to see why companies settle for less-than adequate speeds. Shopping for a new provider is a pain, while upgrading to fibre-optic broadband might seem like an overhaul you can’t face or afford.
However, when you consider that fibre-optic based broadband lines can go from 100Mbs up to 1,000Mbs, it’s hardly surprising that your business is trailing behind by sitting tight with copper telephone wires.
The future of business internet lies in fibre
Fibre-optic lines offer added convenience, better call quality, and increased cost-efficiency in the long-term. The logic to switch is there, but if you’re reluctant to make the move you should know the government is going to ban copper lines altogether.
In three years’ time, new copper lines will no longer be sold, and by 2025 the aim is to phase them out for all customers.
In summary: finding a provider is impossible and your internet connection is soon to become obsolete. If you don’t act – your business is going to slow to a crawl.
The solution? Switch to fibre ASAP – the lines that carry the fastest internet speeds. The government are actually pushing to move everyone over to digital services by 2025. While that may sound like a pain, it’s actually a good thing.
You’ll need to install fibre very soon because the big guys say so – but you’ll enjoy a better connection as a result.
Keeping this in mind will make picking a provider much simpler, too. Narrow your search down to people who’re going to help you set up and get going – with added funding from the government…
The secret to grabbing better value gigabit
To encourage businesses to abandon their commitment to copper wire, the government are offering grants (temporarily) to small businesses to help them fund the switch to fibre optic.
The Gigabit Voucher Scheme doesn’t ask for anything from you in return; the government are just desperate to integrate gigabit connections across the UK as fast as they possibly can.
There’s only a bit of money left in the pot though, so you’ll need to take action quick. Or, Nxcoms can do all the work and apply for you. If you’re eligible – and you probably are – then you’ll bank a whopping £2,500 spending money for your gigabit connection.
Our guys will even throw a free router into the deal so you can get going ASAP for less.
Connect with Nxcoms
There’s no denying your SME should be looking at the higher end of the speed scale. The good news is that upgrading doesn’t need to be difficult – and it definitely doesn’t need to be out of your price range.
Grab the government grants through Nxcoms today. If you’re unclear about what the switch involves, just get in touch and we’ll explain the process without those convoluted telecoms buzzwords. We focus on fast, simple, clear communication – both in customer services and solutions.
You may have heard a lot in the news recently about Full Fibre Broadband…
There have been quite a few stories in the news recently about the Government’s push for Full Fibre Broadband, and the aim to get most of the country on a fibre optic internet connection by 2025, but what exactly is it, and how does it benefit your business?
The UK now has more than 95% coverage for “superfast broadband” with speeds of 24Mbs (megabits per second) or higher. However, most “superfast” connections still depend on copper telephone wires, which are limited in the speeds they can support. The maximum speed you can get on a copper-based broadband connection is 80Mbs, however with a fibre optic based broadband line you can go up to 1000Mbs. So, if your business requires faster and more reliable broadband, capable of delivering gigabit speeds, then a full fibre connection is required.
One gigabit is the same as 1000Mbs (1,000 megabits) – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your business into the future. Full fibre also supports symmetrical connections – meaning your upload and download speeds are exactly the same. There are huge benefits to business, as this means your external internet connection is as fast as your internal network. You can run more computers in remote locations, take advantage of more cloud services, and even download or upload files much more quickly.
What you may not realise is that the full fibre broadband rollout has been going on for quite some time now, and the main telecoms providers have been supplying this kind of technology for a number of years. Its only recently that prices have come down to make it more viable for more businesses to use as their main connection to the internet.
In order to help businesses utilise this technology, the Government Gigabit Voucher scheme is a grant to cover the installation costs associated with installing a fibre optic cable into the premises. UK Small and Medium sized businesses can apply for the grant of up to £2500 through one of their approved suppliers. Nxcoms is an approved supplier of the scheme and can help businesses to apply and obtain the grant as well as installing the line and equipment needed.