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Working Remotely from Home — Business Check List

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented health and economic crisis which has had a significant impact on UK businesses. While the government’s social isolation rules have slowed the spread of the virus, they have also forced businesses to shut down or to completely change the way they operate.

Many businesses have asked their employees to work from home until the risk of COVID-19 is over. Fortunately, there are many telecommunications tools which make working from home simple.

In this guide, we are going to share a checklist which highlights the most useful telecommunications tools for remote work. These tools will help you maintain a highly productive and profitable business throughout the COVID-19 shutdown.

Broadband
Nearly all work-at-home employees will require Internet access to complete their duties. In most cases, they will already have a home Internet connection installed. However, you will need to consider several factors before letting an employee use an existing home Internet connection for remote work:

• Stability
Is the employees Internet connection always available or are there periods off instability? If a team member regularly experiences Internet drop outs or lag, it may interfere with their ability to be productive while working from home.
• Speed
If your business is working with large files like spreadsheets, videos, or databases, slow Internet connection speed may be an issue. The average home connection may not have sufficient bandwidth available for the kind of work your business does.
• Data Use
Home connections in the UK often have a limited amount of data use available. This can also be an issue if your business is working with large files.
• Security
When employees use their home computer and Internet access, they may not have the same level of security available as they would while at work. There could be issues with their WIFI encryption settings, software, antivirus solution, router login, and so on.

The best solution for dealing with these issues is to set up separate business broadband connections for critical employees. This will ensure they have the high-quality Internet access needed to work productively and with a high level of security.

Another option is to give employees a dedicated mobile wifi 4G device for work purposes. This device will operate separately from their home connection — giving them the speed, stability, and security they require.

VoIP Telecoms
Voice Over IP (VoIP) is a useful technology which can improve the accessibility, affordability, quality, and portability of voice communications. VoIP is also easily extensible, which means you can extend your work VoIP system to include employees currently working from home.

Businesses can share all aspects of their office-based VoIP system with workers at home, including call handling and directory services. When employees use a VoIP system remotely, they will have access to all of the functionality available on their work phone.

Telephone Numbers
If your customers need to contact employees who are working from home, you should obtain additional non-geographic phone numbers. This will help employees can keep their personal and business calls separate. It also ensures that your business maintains a professional appearance, with a limited number of contact points.

Another excellent option at this time is to purchase 0800 free to call phone numbers. They can help your business generate additional sales inquiries, which is particularly important during the current economic downturn.

Conference/video calls/meeting
If your business relies upon regular meetings between employees, an online conferencing/meeting tool will be useful. There are several options available, with the most popular being the video conferencing platform Zoom. Other great options include GoToMeeting, TeamViewer, and Adobe Connect.

Video calling technology can also be useful for meetings between staff members. There are many options for one-on-one and small-group video calls including Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and Talky.

Text message marketing
Text messages are a useful way to communicate simple messages with your employees and customers. They can be used for many purposes including:

• Reminding remote employees about online meetings
• Sharing project responsibilities with remote team members
• Sharing links to online resources
• Providing COVID-19 updates
• Soliciting employee feedback
• Scheduling work shifts
• Quick reminders

Text message are less intrusive than phone calls and very “to the point” — which makes them the perfect option when communicating with employees who are working at home.

How Lascom Solutions Can Help
Lascom Solutions is one of the UK’s leading independent telecommunications providers. We provide a wide range of innovative telecommunications solutions for businesses including VoIP, broadband, business mobiles, SMS text message marketing, and leased lines. Contact our friendly team today on 08444 127 009 to learn how we can help your business succeed during this pandemic.

https://www.facebook.com/iphmaccredited/

Holistic Therapy Services Ltd – Trading as IPHM

The International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine (IPHM) has been developed to provide the general public and health care professionals with a body of regulated professionals, all qualified to accredited levels

One of the largest internationally recognised and trusted independent accreditation boards for complimentary and natural therapists and training providers worldwide

Their brief:

Upgrade the existing analogue telephone system and provide a new digital VoIP solution. Which would provide enhanced call routing options, giving callers clear HD quality audio, also allowing remote worker integration and to be future proofed for further expansion.

The Solution:  

Installation of a mixture of pre-configured Yealink, dect and desktop VoIP handsets operating over existing broadband connections. The cloud based telephone system has been configured to provide advanced IVR and call routing, with a greeting message announcement, voicemail and full call reporting via a secure on-line portal.

If any changes to any of the call routing are required, these can be implemented in real-time  

The Benefits:

There was no need to install any additional telephone lines or cabling as the system used the existing broadband services.

Enhanced IVR and call routing options provide a high level of professionalism to the telecommunications of the business

Significantly reduced call charges for both UK and International dialled calls

Retention of existing telephone number

Future proofed with the ability to add additional users and remote workers as required

Supplier Choice:

Lascom Solutions provided expert advice and carried out the configuration and installation work exactly as per instructions and with in a few days of receiving the order.

We already had experience of Lascom Solutions service support  with our existing broadband service and would have no hesitation in recommending their services to other business’s looking to upgrade their phone systems. Lisa Elsworth – Director

If you would like further information about VoIP or to arrange a free, without obligation consultation contact, Don Bradley today on 07891813418 or send a message using the form below

The one great thing about Apple iPhones is that they are built to last. If you are looking to save money, sticking with your current iPhone and resisting the temptation to upgrade could make pretty good sense.

But when exactly is it more beneficial to buy the latest iPhone model rather than sit on your existing sim card only deal?

Many people will still have the iPhone 6s. It’s an excellent smartphone that oozes quality even after three years. There should be no trouble in upgrading to iOS 12 either, not now Apple have been pushed into improving speeds for older phones. The jump from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone XR is a fairly big leap in terms of what your device can and cannot do.

The first thing you need to be clear about is why you want to upgrade in the first place.

Most of us use our phones for business nowadays and a few extra features and benefits can make a big difference to performance.

So, what you would be getting if you upgraded to the iPhone XR?

Image Quality

The first difference you’ll notice is the display. The iPhone XR introduces you to True Tone OLED. If you put the two phones side by side, the improvement in image quality is pretty clear to see from the moment you switch on. That fantastic True Tone also translates onto the video format.

Should contrast, colour, and vibrancy be important to you and your business, this could well be a reason to upgrade from the iPhone 6s.

Size and Design

There is a marked difference in the designs of the two phones, though you still get the same level of quality and heft that you expect from an iPhone. Apple have increased the size of the screen for the iPhone XR and there’s no bezel which gives you less dead space.

iPhone 6s vs iPhone XR Performance

The truth is that the iPhone 6s still performs pretty well, despite its age. With the latest games and a world where AI is becoming increasingly important, however, speed and performance are both going to be issues sooner or later.

For a start, the iPhone 6s doesn’t have neural engine. The iPhone XR packs a significantly improved punch, as you might expect. It comes with a 6 core CPU, A12 Bionic Chip, and an 8 core neural engine that makes it one of the fastest phones on the market today.

The iPhone XR also has a much-improved camera compared to the iPhone 6s. A TrueDepth™ sensor not only takes better images, it allows the phone to use face ID. Both iPhones have 12MP main cameras but that’s where the similarities end. The iPhone XR camera has a much greater range and is also able to record 4K video at 60fps. If you use phone photography and video regularly for your business, you’ll notice the difference immediately.

You get more storage with the iPhone XR (256GB) – in a world where files are getting bigger and bigger, this is going to be important moving forward. One of the complaints with the iPhone 6s is about battery life. This has significantly improved in the iPhone XR, with 20 hours talk time and 12 hours of internet use on a single full charge. 

Sim Card Only

The big advantage of the just staying with your Sim Card deal and not upgrading is cost. A new iPhone is a significant investment and whether you are buying outright or on a monthly deal, you are going to have to pay more. The good news is that iPhones hold their value pretty well. If you are selling your iPhone 6s at the same time, it should knock at least a few hundred pounds off the purchase price f the iPhone XR.

If you would like any help, choosing a new iphone or would like to know more about the sim only deals available. Just contact Lascom Solutions via email: [email protected] or call on  08444 127 009

Sole traders and small-to-medium enterprises (SME’s) must work hard to succeed in the UK’s highly competitive economy.  One of the best tactics for succeeding in this environment is to harness new technologies that reduce overheads and improve business efficiency.

Many sole traders and SME’s are turning to VoIP (also called voice over IP, VoIP or IP telephony) to improve their bottom line and productivity levels.  VoIP is an innovative technology that allows businesses to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a phone line.  This article will explain how VoIP works and share a few of advantages gained by switching to this technology.

What is VoIP?

When using a VoIP enabled device, the call will be converted into a series of digital files (called data packets).  These data packets can then be transferred electronically via the Internet or any private network using Internet Protocol (IP).

VoIP services can make calls between landlines, cell phones and computer.  You can also make VoIP calls to analogue phones that have a VoIP converter installed.  This allows businesses to easily upgrade existing assets to handle VoIP calls.

The benefits of using VoIP telephone systems

VoIP can save your business money

Most sole traders and SME’s are running their business on very tight margins.  They often have to look for cost-saving opportunities in an effort to improve their bottom line.

VoIP telephone systems help by dramatically reducing the cost of a business’s outgoing phone calls.  The cost of using VoIP is a tiny fraction of the cost of calls on traditional phone networks.  VoIP is more affordable because the price for data transfer via the Internet is negligible.

Many ISPs provide plans that allow for unlimited data use, so the cost of long phone calls is extremely low.  Calls that are between two VoIP devices are often free, while calls to mobile phones and landlines on traditional phone network sometimes incur a small fee.  The savings for your business can be substantial, particularly if you often call international customers or make dozens of phone calls each day.

Having VoIP infrastructure can also eliminate the need for traditional telephonic infrastructure like multiple ISDN lines.  Your business can make phone calls using a single data connection and avoid the overheads associated with having many phone lines installed.

VoIP makes it easier for your business to grow

VoIP telephone systems can be very useful for businesses experiencing rapid growth.  Instead of having to connect additional ISDN phone lines at your premises as the more employees join the business, you will be able to simply connect a wireless VoIP device or new computer terminal to your local wireless network.  The entire VoIP system will continue to use a single data connection for all incoming and outgoing calls.

VoIP is compatible with many types of existing IT infrastructure

One of the key benefits of using VoIP telephone systems is that they typically do not require a significant overhaul of a business’ IT infrastructure.  An Internet connection with a sufficient amount of bandwidth for the number of simultaneous VoIP connections that will be in use is the only requirement.  Calls can be made on any VoIP-enable telephone, mobile phone, desktop computer, or tablet.

VoIP can be a part of a unified communication solution
VoIP is often integrated with business software packages like Client Relationship Management (CRM) programs, support desk software, and sales management tools.  This means your employees can use a single piece of software for making VoIP calls, recording client details, making sales, and performing other tasks useful for your business.

Many software tools are unified communications solutions that also have email, Web conferencing, video chat, help desk functionality, and instant messaging.  They will significantly boost the productivity of your staff and ensure a high level of customer service.

VoIP technologies easily can be used with mobile phones.  Your team will be able to use their mobile phone remotely and have the calls be diverted through your VoIP system, where they can be tracked and integrated with any software solutions you use.

Thanks for reading VoIP Telephone Systems Delivering Big Business Benefits For Sole Traders and SME’s.  For more information on VoIP telephone systems for sole traders and SME’s contact us today on 08444 127 009.