Category Archives: Cloud

Top Tips For Post Pandemic Business Communications

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A BBC business news headline this week highlights ‘… UK inflation to five-year low.’ So what does it mean for your business? Can you take advantage of new technology while prices remain steady?

Deciding to move your business communications to the cloud can be a daunting prospect. Why be the person responsible for changing systems – right? However, at times of low inflation and high staff redundancies, perhaps your senior management team need to future proof your business. Moving to cloud computing is simpler than you might think. Here are our top 5 business benefit advantages.

Eliminate Risks of Replacing Systems

Replacing out of date systems is operationally risky and expensive. But with a cloud solution, you can expect all updates and upgrades with your subscription. You can enjoy the peace of mind of predictable costs, regular updates and system performance without replacing systems. Think of an extra pair of hands at low cost & low-risk.

Eliminate Risks

Improve Security and Resilience

While physically having your IT systems in one place might feel more secure, government statistics say otherwise. The Home Office Cybercrime review of the evidence: Research (Report 75) found that businesses hacking experiences often go unreported. It states: ‘…regarding damage to reputation from cyber crimes and a desire to avoid publicity of any problems.’ Cloud providers are safe hands for cloud security, encryption, active service monitoring and more. And another bonus is cloud computing, disaster recovery. Automatically including failover to another data centre for your SIP Trunks and a full backup of your system to another server is the ultimate reassurance. Restoring to another cloud service provider is an exceptionally resilient disaster recovery scenario.

Reduce Capital Expenditure

Communications systems are expensive, so why pay more? Traditional hardware and software systems require server hardware, network solutions, IT administrator staff and network specialist staff costs on top. Adopting cloud strategies are generally cheaper and could save you as much as 80% off your phone bill as well. And with reliable WebClients and Apps for mobiles, it’s worth checking how much more you’ll save with your existing business smartphones.

Reduce Capital

Access More Productivity Features

Consolidating communications with colleagues and customers improves productivity. Look at easy integration with other software platforms such as Customer Relationship Management systems, PMS or IoT systems. Allow your managers to coordinate product enquires, sales, online bookings, payments, and reporting – all from one central place.

Connect Remote Workers

If you lack a direct connection to remote workers, you are limiting the benefits of employees on the move. Moving your systems to the cloud removes location boundaries and increases productivity. Any destination with an active connection can receive call traffic just as easily as an office phone.

Connect Remote Workers

If you want to find out about the extensive range of products available from Cirrus ITS, the features and benefits of a 3CX implementation, or the flexible lower rate monthly Microsoft 365 subscription, then please get in touch by emailing hello@cirrusits.co.uk

 

Microsoft Business 365 – Here is what you need to know

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Microsoft 365 is the new name for the Microsoft Office 365 monthly subscription plan designed to help you achieve more. Innovative Office apps, intelligent cloud services, and world-class security bring your content together for a seamless organisation.

With a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can collaborate with your team members, customers, and suppliers, access your application and data from anywhere. Latest features are continuously updating and evolving.

Name Changes

Microsoft announced their latest product name changes for the small and medium-sized business Microsoft Office 365 Subscriptions plans in April 2020.

Many people are still getting confused by the name changes, so we have listed the basics below:

New NameOld Name
Microsoft 365 Business BasicOffice 365 Business Essentials
Microsoft 365 Business StandardOffice 365 Business Premium
Microsoft 365 Business PremiumMicrosoft 365 Business
Microsoft 365 AppsOffice 365 Business & Office 365 ProPlus*

* Where necessary Microsoft will use the “for enterprise” label to refer to ProPlus.

Plans & Pricing

If you choose to purchase directly from Microsoft, they currently offer two payment options. A lower option if you take an annual commitment or a higher if you want the flexibility of a month by month subscription. You must pay by Credit Card.

If you chose to purchase from us at Cirrus IT Services (a Microsoft Partner), we pass on savings to our customers. The licenses we buy from a Cloud Service Provider enable us to match the Microsoft annual commitment price AND offer monthly flexibility. With Cirrus IT Services, you can give just 30-days’ notice to flex up and down your product license requirements. You can also pay by Direct Debit or by Credit Card.

M365 Plans

Applications

Cloud Services

Moving Providers

Existing Microsoft Customers

Changing providers is a little like changing Gas or Electricity providers; the only thing that changes is the company that invoices you.

Microsoft 365 Business or Enterprise account (Not Home Editions) have a Tenant – your own private Microsoft 365 Management console –  where your account, data and settings live.

As a Microsoft Partner, we can easily take over any existing Microsoft 365 Tenant with no disruption. Hence, you’re safe in the knowledge that you are not tied to any provider. You can switch as required without losing any data or having to go through any downtime or reconfiguration.

New Microsoft Customers

If you do not already have a Microsoft Business Tenant, they’re easy to set up. As Microsoft Partners, we have tools available to easily import email from other providers to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Microsoft also offers lots of excellent simple training videos and guides on how to make the most of your Microsoft 365 Subscription.

If you want to find out more or take out a Microsoft 365 subscription, please get in touch by emailing hello@cirrusits.co.uk

Productive Remote Working for Businesses

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If your phone system does not support home working features, don’t panic, we can help!

To help fellow businesses survive and thrive through the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are now offering complete full-featured 3CX telephone systems with a free standard license on a 1-month contract. Your remote working solution takes just a few hours to setup. You can then work at home during Cornovirus self-isolation advice, as a temporary short-term or permanent solution.

Staff can work remotely using Mac, Windows, iOS or Android applications as their desk phones from anywhere with an internet connection. The Standard license allows users to take advantage of Web Conferencing, Remote Classroom, Chat/Messaging, Document Sharing and apps for MAC, Windows, iOS & Android.

Presenting your real company telephone number when you dial out shows people who you are when you call. We set up a temporary number to divert your current system to for seamless outbound calling. If they return the call, it will go to your existing system and then redirect to your new temporary number automatically.*

You can choose how many concurrent calls you need to determine how many “Trunks” you need. Each Trunk is just £9.95 + VAT per month and includes all UK standard Mobile and Landline minutes (Fair Usage Policy applies)**

The setup fee is just £90.00 + VAT for the telephone system and £9.95 + VAT per Trunk (payable in advance).

*Your current call provider may charge for forwarded calls to your new temporary number.

**Fair Usage Policy: Unlimited calls to UK landline numbers starting 01, 02, and standard UK mobile numbers only (excluding 070 and 076). Excludes calls to the Channel Islands, dial-up internet, indirect access, premium mobile services & all other numbers. The maximum call time is 60 minutes per call. Service must be applied on all SIP Trunks supplied. This service must not be used in conjunction with any automated dialling services, or where outgoing traffic exceeds 75% of the entire traffic volume and mobile traffic must not account for more than 50% of the entire traffic volume. The service can be removed / modified at any time if the provider feels that the traffic profile is outside of the good intention to which the service is provided or that the continual use of the service within the current profile may place the seethe suppliers service and or resources at risk of providing a reduced capacity service to other clients.

Fully Functional 3CX Cloud-Based Telephones

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Beyond the frustration of having a poor landline connection, a lack of satisfaction with your telephone system can cost in productivity and loss of business. If you understand the issues all too well, then take a look at the MGA Crane Hire recent experience.  They now have fully functioning 3CX cloud-based VoIP telephones on site.

MGA Crane Hire is a client-focused business, providing a one-stop-shop for lifting requirements. The company has excellent levels of quality, safety and service and is one of the leading providers of mobile crane hire and contract lifting services in the UK.

Based at an old scrap heap site in Manchester, the only internet is via a fixed-line connection operating at a maximum of 1Mbps download speed, and 0.5Mbps upload speed. Slow, intermittent, unreliable access is not adequate for the extra load demanded by modern phone systems. Reliable call quality and flexible call handling are business-critical for MGA.

Gareth Tinsley MGA Business Development Manager comments, ’As a trusted partner for our IT support, we asked Cirrus IT services to help us find a solution to our telephony issues. We are delighted with the results. The new phone system offers the reliability and flexibility to take extension calls wherever we go.’

Cirrus created a 3CX based solution using a 4G mobile internet connection with a 3CX Session Border Controller to deliver a VoIP system to connect fully functional 3CX Cloud Based Telephony.

Most VoIP systems will not work reliably over a 4G connection, but the 3CX SBC provides better connectivity between the Cloud-based telephone system (PBX) and the site. A 3CX based solution delivers a fully functional VoIP system. The new system has the flexibility and reliability to decrease the phone bill, provide free inter-office and site calls and offers the ability to take calls wherever!

If you would like to know more about the Cirrus ITS advanced 3CX qualifications and extensive experience of 3CX systems, then please get in touch. Whatever your industry, however many telephones you need and whatever the telephony issues, we are happy to help you to find a working solution.

How to choose the right size Backup Solution for your Business

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When it comes to backups, it’s certainly not a case of one size fits all

There are so many great options available, so how do you know which is best for you and your business?

Should you be using cloud or on-site storage, image or file-based backups?

Here’s my practical, simplified guide about what you need to consider and why.

First, let me explain two critical backup measurements – Restore Point  – Restore Time. Continue reading

What is “The Cloud”?

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This phrase “The Cloud” has become so commonplace over recent years that many people are now afraid to ask what it is. As the technology is talked about all the time, most believe that they should already know all about it, so think that asking would make them look silly or uneducated.

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