Category Archives: Communications

Lead Your Business More Effectively by Implementing Unified Communications

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Business owners who want to streamline their businesses (to increase employee productivity) see how Unified Communications benefits business.

High-quality communications are crucial for companies. After all, inter-department collaboration and speedy ideas exchanges make effective business decisions easier.

Although phones are great, information exchange with phone, video, screen sharing, chat, and file management features is better. Many business owners now turn to unified communications.

So unified communication – what exactly does it entail?

Discover the main concepts in this article, the suggested approach and how to use unified communications in your business to help your success.

UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS – WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?

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Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay

Unified phones, video calls, screen shares, chat boxes, and data file management in a single space make for seamless communications in numerous ways. . Unified communications platforms are ready-to-use systems operate as a cloud that’s accessible to your team members over the internet with ease.

But why consider switching your current operations to a unified communications platform?

There are several very good reasons l, but just one crucial thing to remember:

Business leaders who adopt it streamline their businesses to (increase employee productivity) by making it easier for their colleagues to interact every day.

Here are five of the key features to help you better understand how to scale your business.

FEATURES OF UNIFIED COMMS

1. CONNECTED FROM EVERY LOCATION

When connected to a unified system, employees can stay connected from every location. At home, on holiday, sitting in the office or even on a business trip to a remote island. With unified communications there is the ability to message chat, receive a call, and much more.

2. UNIFIED MESSAGES

Here at Cirrus IT Services, we know that quick messages allow our employees to handle enquiries quickly. The team can then easily switch communication mode, depending on their needs.

3. VIDEO & AUDIO MEETINGS

Whenever you need to meet, you’ll have everyone in the palm of your hand. You can join a group of colleagues or customers when you connect and speak to them via video or audio from any location.

4. STATUS/PRESENCE

This feature lets others know when you are online (Active), busy (Do Not Disturb), or away from your desk (Out of the Office).

HOW DO UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS HELP BUSINESS MANAGERS?

So, what have we discovered about the benefits of using unified communications throughout Lancashire and nationwide?

INCREASES IN TEAM PRODUCTIVITY

It’s important for business owners to boost team workflow to eliminate bottlenecks and drastically improve productivity.

Using unified communication makes it easier for team members to save time by:

  • File sharing quickly to remove email threads in teamwork
  • Receive calls from any location
  • Receive voicemails and faxes directly
  • Speedily starting a single-click video meetings in an emergency

Teams with access to up-to-date tech can be more effective to get tasks done quickly. At Cirrus IT Services we find that it help us with communications challenges.

LOWER COMMUNICATION COSTS

If you have legacy phones for on-site communication they can cost more IT budgets allow.

Try looking at unified communication and turn to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to integrate with other tools. This approach removed the need for server hardware infrastructure.

Unified comms also makes adding new users simple via an easy-to-use dashboard.

Also – thinking again about budgets – the cost of unified communications is the same every month, so there won’t be any surprises.

ENHANCE CUSTOMER SERVICE

Company success greatly depends on the quality of your customer service.

With unified communications, employees can respond to client queries regardless of their location by chat, incoming call, and email from any device.

You can also integrate CRM software for many added benefits, so that the person in charge can see all the necessary notes related to each customer to help solve issues faster.

EMPOWER A REMOTE WORKFORCE

The constant concern that we hear is about remote workers having all the tools they need.

Thousands of companies find plenty of benefits to a unified approach.

Thanks to unified comms, communication from a single platform means that all your remote worker needs is a stable internet connection. With access to your network, all the features are just like everyone else in the team.

INCREASING ORGANISATIONAL AGILITY

When you increase your team’s agility, the same follows for the whole organisation. Organisational agility is the strategic value of unified communications.

So, to see the benefits at work, you must consider a management side approach. When unified communication drives productivity, it streamlines the whole workflow, to leads to enhanced business outcomes. That’s where you really get to see the value!

ENHANCING SECURITY

Enhancing security is crucial for every business. Unified communications integrate all applications into a single platform to make it straightforward for IT teams to apply specific security policies. It’s easier for them to manage secure programs, apps, security patches and compliance updates when all applications share the same underlying system.

REALISING THE POWER OF UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

Streamlining is extremely important for overall performance of employees and your business as a whole.

With unified communications, you can boost customer experiences and make your team more efficient. Unified communications let teams make calls, host video chats, send emails, receive a fax, to make jobs (and life) easier.

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement unified communications, we’re happy to help. Perhaps start with a 10-15-minute chat? Contact us at Cirrus IT Services to discuss unified communications further.

 

This blog article by Cirrus IT Service is adapted with permission from The Technology Press.

Featured Image Credit: Pete Linforth from Pixabay

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 [email protected]

 

3CX – Why should you believe our hybrid 3CX model is better?

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Why should you believe our hybrid 3CX installation is better than a standard 3CX model? The answer is simple. We are careful to provide the benefits that matter most.

We think that having more than 99.95% of connectivity up-time is important. Your data matters; your disaster recovery plan is essential.

In times of economic uncertainty, there is no excuse for poor reliability or poor customer service. Giving your business the best communication systems has never been more critical.

Before we tell you about popular standard 3CX features, there is a long list of exclusive 3CX benefits that we love. And before you think all this comes at a cost, you may be pleased to learn that low price matters too.

Our experience comes in handy. There are advantages and disadvantages to having your phone system hosted in the cloud, so we have developed a hybrid 3CX model that makes the best of all options.

  • Our 3CX Systems are all hosted in a 3CX Certified UK Datacentre that has a connectivity service level agreement (SLA) of at least 99.95%, to keep you connected.
  • All 3CX instances are backed up every night to a different location for disaster recovery purposes. Restoring to any location can be an option for our customers.
  • All 3CX customers have their own 3CX instance, we do not multi-tenant customers so you’re not directly affected by any issues that another customer may have or any “system-wide” outages or platform maintenance.
  • Each customer site has a 3CX Certified SBC (Session Border Controller) that offers a secure connection (like a VPN) between the Site and the Datacentre, for privacy and protection.
  • Each Site SBC (Session Border Controller) offers encryption of all traffic between the Site and the Datacentre over a single port making Firewall and Quality of Services setup more straightforward and much more secure.
  • All our Engineers are 3CX Certified and UK based.
  • We are not tied to a single handset manufacturer so we can select the best option for your requirements and can offer Paging, Public Address, Loud Ringers, Video and Voice Intercoms and access control that is all 3CX Approved and certified to work seamlessly with your system and handsets.
  • Our SIP trunks are geo-resilient, with two connections to different geographically located Datacentres. So if one has a problem, we failover to the other, you continue to make and receive calls.SIP Trunks Diagram
  • Our SIP Trunks all include calls so that you can save a fortune on phone bills – fair usage policy applies.
  • If you take our SIP Trunk Direct Dial Numbers, we also offer Inbound Text to Email on your main number for streamlines administration.
  • Our SIP trunks are all on a 30-day rolling contract, so no long-term tie-ins and just a 30-day notice to cancel. Try the system with confidence!
  • We offer a Multi-Network SIM card option to connect to the strongest UK provider signal wherever you are. Used in any mobile, it converts a phone system extension anywhere with a mobile signal, no app required. It doesn’t even have to be a smartphone! Another example to show you that working with us doesn’t come with the highest price tag.

And on top of everything we have mentioned so far, here is a list of standard 3CX features:

  • 3CX is a software-based PBX (Private Branch exchange) or Telephone System. Just about anything is compatible, whether that’s a Micro PC that sits on a desk, a Virtual Machine running in a Datacentre or a customer-specific infrastructure.
  • The flexibility of 3CX means you can provide the right size system for your business, whether that’s just two extensions or a call centre with 10,000 agents.
  • The 3CX offer is so much more than telephony. Unlike many other communications systems, you don’t have to keep paying extra to add features. You pay a low annual license fee that includes all options, except for a few top-end enterprise features like inbuilt failover and standby licenses. We can show you the most up-to-date edition comparison list online.
  • A 3CX Professional License includes Video Conferencing, CRM Integration, Unlimited Extensions, iOS & Android Apps, Call Recording and much more.
  • 3CX also supports many different Manufacturers Handsets and Devices from Standard Desk Phones and cordless phones to Loudspeakers, Paging Systems and voice and video intercoms.

It can be challenging to select the right combination of options for your scenario. Again, this is where our experience and flexible approach comes in handy.

To find out more, get a quote or arrange a demo, email us at [email protected]

 

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.

If you spend a few thousand pounds on a telephone system, how much do you expect to pay everytime you add a phone to it?

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If the answer’s £0 then you need to speak to us!

The biggest telephone system suppliers, such as (but not limited to) Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, Samsung & Panasonic all charge device license fees for each phone you connect and in most cases for each SIP trunk you add to your system too.

Sometimes the device licenses are as expensive as a modern IP phone so you pay twice every time you want to add an extension, once for the phone and once for the license.

Our solution is different, you’re not tied to a single brand of telephone, you don’t pay for licenses for adding devices and you don’t pay to add SIP trunks either.

You also get all of the useful features that the others offer with a few extra ones thrown in too:

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Benefits of the small ISP

It’s about far more than price

Benefits_InvoiceUnderstandable Bills

Lots of big companies make significant profits hiding behind complex bills. Either so that you don’t realise that those “bundled minutes” aren’t actually being consumed, or the fact that your calls are incurring other costs which you weren’t aware of because like most people, you didn’t read the small print (eg connection charges).

Benefits_Daily_InvoiceDaily Itemised Billing

For much the same reason as above, large companies prefer monthly or quarterly billing, and only then do they present to you a “summary” of what you have been spending your money on. We on the other hand provide an online platform allowing you to see full itemised billing, no matter how short the call was.

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Outbound SMS

SMS_IconA rapid and cost effective communication tool

Our SMS platform has been designed as a convenient way to send SMS text messages using an online interface for businesses, large and small. SMS provides a very unique and fast communication tool that will reach the consumer wherever they are. It is a tool that if used correctly can gain instant responses, making it ideal for status announcements (eg we’re aware of a fault), or a call to action (eg your MOT is due, book it now). Our platform is capable of sending thousands of messages a minute via premium carriers from the UK. By using premium carriers messages are delivered quickly and reliably across the world.

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Fax Solutions

Fax_IconSend and receive faxes without a fax machine

Send your fax number into retirement and operate in a paperless manner utilising our fax solutions. By purchasing a fax number from ICUK you can not only receive faxes, but also send them without a phone line or fax machine from anywhere you have an Internet connection. By adopting this paperless platform you can be set to save time, paper, ink, line rental charges and the need for a fax machine.

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Single Line PSTN

PSTN are the most common phone lines found in both residential and business premises, with the differences being explained in the care level received and the directory enquiries listing. The single line can be used for ADSL and FTTC to supply broadband connectivity, which can be delivered as a ‘simultaneous provide’ meaning the broadband can activate on the same day as the line installation.

Click here to find out how to contact us for more information or a Quote