Cyber Security; Myth or Necessity?

Cyber security: A highly recognisable phrase being passed around the business world currently, and for good reason. Hopefully I’m not the first one to introduce you to cyber security.  Most companies recognise that digital security is important for the safety of their computers, programs and confidential data but they can forget, or are unaware, that the risk of not having a multi-device security strategy is becomingly increasingly dangerous and could jeopardise the overall survival of their business.

Did you know that 60% of small businesses suffered from a cyber-breach in the year leading up to October 2014? – The Guardian, 2015

Despite this, it seems that security can still be an afterthought for many, despite that hackers are looking for the least protected system to randomly hit. Consider it this way: would you own a home with no home insurance; have a car with no car insurance? If something is so vital that you wish to protect it at all costs, then cyber security should be a major element in your business strategy.

The increase of cyber threats is evidently down to continuously advancing technology across the world. For example, the captive movement of ‘The Internet of Things’ whereby data is exchanged through multiple connections and devices. This is a necessary part of our modern lives, enabling consumers to use phones when out and about; to control actions in our home; to connect our multiple devices for a seamless experience between technologies, the ideology being to make our lives easier and hassle-free. This increase in technology, for both consumers and businesses alike, causes an increase in opportunities for hackers to attack companies so needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Where would I look? What should I invest in? Questions that immediately spring to mind. McAfee Multi Access is a great way to solve your cyber security problems as it is a comprehensive solution protecting up to 5 devices, with 1 license including PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. It has great business features including the ability for the device user to wipe or locate a lost/stolen phone and also guards against viruses. Visit McAfee.

Another solution involves securing the flow of files within the business through Box. The online portal gives you full control over who can access company files and also encrypts data both in transit and at rest, ensuring that your information is always secure. Visit Box.

Thirdly, the mobile device management suite, MaaS360 from IBM, has unrivalled security benefits. It can help businesses easily manage devices whilst keeping apps and data secure by enforcing authentication and copy and paste restrictions. Visit MaaS.

These are a few options available to businesses everywhere, but if you have any concerns relating to your business security strategy and would like some advice, feel free to call our Trusted Digital Advisors on 0800 064 64 64.

Start today – put your worries to rest and protect your business.

cuber security blog

How Technology Improves Customer Service

Having a customer-centric business strategy has never been more crucial due to technology providing a voice for the consumer. In order to satisfy your customers, and help gain repeat business, it’s wise to continually search for new ways to improve your customer service; asking the question “What could we do better?” Business solutions from Welcomm help you answer this question, solve common challenges and improve your service strategy.

“1 in 5 inbound calls are abandoned”

Improve Customer Service

Losing a call is a missed opportunity to support a customer or gain a sales lead. This does not bode well for a business’s customer service reputation or their bottom line. Moving to a cloud-based telephone system will not only bring quality and disaster recovery benefits, but it also opens up the opportunity to view how calls are being handled within your business, through products such as Akixi or SIP Trunk Call Manager. There is a growing requirement for more in-depth reporting to analyse who’s handling your calls in real-time, seeing which are dropped, abandoned or transferred. This helps you learn how daily operations can be changed to support customers better and seize every incoming opportunity to increase revenue.

“Text messages have a 98% open rate; email has a 20% open rate”

Increase Customer Touch Points 

With more individuals becoming reliant on mobile phones within their everyday lives, a successful platform for reaching customers is Business Messaging. Your marketing team can  text current promotions, appointment reminders or survey questions direct to your customers, increasing the number of touch points to support your customer contact strategy. The service also proves an internet portal to help measure the success of your campaign by showing delivery rates, sending times and content validation options.

“86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience”

Streamline Operations

Digital technology has stormed in the B2B space because it improves operations, saving time and money in the process. A hugely beneficial solution is digital forms, from Inkwrx, which allow you to generate, save and send your own multi-purpose business forms on the go, capturing customer data and sending it back to the office within minutes. When your field based employees are out completing a job, customers will benefit from accuracy of data being fed back for processing, resulting in faster customer service from start to finish.

For more information on how these solutions can benefit your business strategy, please contact our specialists on 0800 064 64 64.  

Source: HelpScout.net (2016)

Written by Keegan Stanton and Katie Ford

Business Tech Trends of 2017

 

As we enter 2017 it’s clear that digital technology will continue to flood businesses across the UK, transforming the way enterprises work. Here are some of the latest tech developments due to take off.

1. Migration to the Cloud

“Cloud-first strategies” have been building momentum throughout recent years, and are
due to propel during 2017 across more and more business enterprises,
according to Forbes. The strategy recommends that businesses of all sizes fully migrate their systems to the cloud in order to take full advantage of enhanced capacity and streamlined operations. Cloud based systems are hosted online and therefore free up your voipoffice infrastructure. With communications being the cornerstone to business, these systems are a good place to start by converging a data connection with voice lines through a VoIP or SIP Trunk solution. The CEO of Broadsuite Inc. adds “I believe cloud-first is key to keeping your company agile”. 

2. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is lesser known tech which overlaps virtual graphics with real-world scenery. 2017 could see more businesses utilising AR to enhance corporate presentations by bringing the content to life thereby captivating the audience. More recently, virtual reality (VR) headsets for Smartphone gaming apps have become extremely popular amongst consumers with more sophisticated and advanced models currently in production. This could lead to a transformation of internal training, with roll vrplays becoming immersive, as well as the rise of virtual meetings between suppliers and their clients. Many VR headsets can now be purchased alongside Smartphone mobile devices – could this be the future of your business?

3. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) involves teaching a machine to learn so it can interpret incoming stimuli, then complete actions/make changes. A prime example is Siri for iOS (iPhone) – it understands your words well enough, through speech recognition, to make an intelligent decision about whether to load a related image, webpage or app. Thoughtworks state this year “we will see businesses use machine intelligent insights to deliver more engaging experiences to customers, and provide better service.” Service improving AI is already out there in the form of intelligent apps. The revolutionary Inkwrx platform lets customers complete business forms on a tablet with a stylus pen. The app tabletuses handwriting recognition to autofill the form with computer text, before the company employee sends the form back to the office within 10 minutes, rather than the average 3 day processing time, allowing their request to be completed immediately for dramatically improved customer service.

4. Blockchain

Blockchain is a virtual ledger which records data in sequential blocks along a data chain. They’ve been used previously for online currency exchanges, called Bitcoins, as the blockchain creates an extremely secure transaction history which cannot be tampered bitcoinwith by coders. This future could see this technology being used to protect data of all kinds, such as medical records, identity management or retail transactions. Although, Gartner adds that this is in Beta stage of production and won’t be fully ready until nearer 2020.

5. Internet of Things

Of late, there has been a huge trend towards interconnected devices which can communicate between themselves through an internet connection. Fitness watches, digital cars and smart thermostats are all IoT products which continue to be on the rise. In terms of business, Gartner experts believe that in future years, “every organisation will have some mix of five digital technology platforms: information systems, customer experience, analytics and intelligence, the Internet of Things and business ecosystems”. Companies are already improving processes and productivity with apps such as Box whichiot allows staff to co-edit files in real-time with their customers as a collaborative method of creating the client’s perfect end product. Because it’s built for business, Box takes secure cloud storage to the next level and really demonstrates how the IOT can enhance any business.

Much of these trends will see a huge increase this year, but some will completely saturate the business market by 2020. Researching your digital business options now will allow you to get ahead of the competition, so that the more efficient processes are deeply ingrained into your business strategy way before other organisations have even began to consider the idea.

For guidance on how you can digitise your business, speak to Welcomm’s Digital Expert, Corran, on 0800 064 64 64.

Or visit www.welcomm.co.uk.

Ref: http://www.forbes.com, http://www.techradar.com, http://www.gartner.co.uk.

Roaming made simpler.

From November 8th, O2 are improving their roaming bolt ons to give overseas workers the opportunity to use data with voice calls and text messaging, at no extra cost.

Travelling to Europe

If your staff regularly travel within the EU then the O2 Travel bolt on will enable them to ‘roam like home’. It’s free to add to your account and will give the user 120 minutes, 120 texts and 50MB per day for just £1.66+Vat.

Travelling out of Europe

For those travelling further afield, the new Rest of World bolton, to replace O2’s Worldwide bolt ons, will offer your staff more flexibility. Instead of only receiving data, the new Rest of World bolt ons will include:

  • 87 destinations
  • Calls and texts
  • Higher data allowances

24 Hour Rest of World – for £7.50+Vat per day, the user will receive up to 200 minutes, 200 texts and 500MB of data.*

30 Day Rest of World – for £99+Vat per month, the user will receive up to 5000 minutes, 5000 texts and 5GB of data.*

The bolt ons cost nothing to apply to your account and will automatically activate when you start using your phone for voice, text or data when you’re abroad.

Want to hear more about Welcomm’s o2 packages and roaming offers? Call us on 0800 064 64 64 or alternatively, send us an email here.
*Allowances differ according to which world zone you are travelling within.

Written by Keegan Stanton

Apple iPhone 7 and 7Plus

revolution

Apple have succeeded in bringing innovation to the Smartphone once again.

The headphone jack has been removed and replaced with wireless AirPods or a lightningiph7 connector. It contains the most powerful chip in a Smartphone, ever. The iPhone 7Plus also has two telephoto cameras on the rear to prevent distortion and shrinking, as well as a wide angle lens on the front for the perfect selfie. Both models have the most advanced Apple cameras to date. Improved battery life, colour display and roaming LTE are just some of the other features which make this model a market leader.

  • 5 colours available: Black, Jet Black, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold
  • 32GB, 128GB or 256GB

    ear-pods

    Wireless AirPods for staff on the go

  • 4.7″ or 5.5″ display
  • Dust and splash proof up to 1 metre for 30 minutes
  • Stereo speakers at both ends of the handset
  • Hands free earphones (AirPods), subject to purchase
  • Pressure sensitive home button, not a physical button
  • 12MP rear camera, 7MP front facing camera
  • Upgraded processor and graphics
  • Improved battery life

Help your business to succeed in this connected world. Use Apps to access email, files, images and more. iOS for business fully integrates with the world’s leading business digital applications, such as Box, Office365 and MaaS360 for secure mobile device management.

Want to purchase this latest device on an extremely competitively business tariff? Give Welcomm a call on 0800 064 64 64. Or alternatively, contact us here.

Written by Keegan Stanton

The future of business technology and the tech industry

The Future of Technology – Is Your Business Prepared?

“12.4% of the UK economy accounts for technology and digital business – more than other G20 countries” – CBI, Barclays Fast Growth Survey, Tech City UK

Technology’ can be defined in various different ways. From being, “a scientific or industrial process of a specific invention or method to also being known as ‘the terminology of an art or science” (Oxford Dictionary, 2016).

Technology plays a big part in the majority of our lives. Whether it be for business or for individual purposes, we are constantly surrounded by our appliances. From the minute we wake up, we are surrounded by different appliances which have become a necessity to our day to day lives. Relying on a digital alarm to kick start the day, using a coffee machine for a hot beverage then using a car to get to work; what were we doing before all of these developments?

Amazon's delivery drone image in order to show how technology is advancing rapidly

Amazon’s delivery drone which aims to deliver a parcel in 30 minutes

Ever thought about ordering an item online and receiving it within 30 minutes? We could see this happening soon. Retail giant Amazon is paying for the program “which will look at the best way to allow hundreds of robotic aircraft to buzz around Britain’s skies safely” (BBC News, 2016). If proven a success, ministers reckon many businesses could start to use this in the future!

What Drives Technology?

So what drives technology forward? It’s the clear fact that technology has embedded itself into our lives. It’s become a norm to rely on our gadgets to stay ahead of our busy lives we are constantly finding ways of saving time and improve the way things are carried out. In some cases we won’t even realise how much we actually use it for our everyday activities. For example…

  • Shopping: People are no longer travelling. They use their smartphone or laptop to do an online shop and get it delivered to their house directly at a convenient time. Hence the nation wanting to have the latest smartphone with 4G for better connectivity.
  • Travel: Apps like Uber allow people to access cheaper taxis and track how far away the vehicle is. This is also being utilised for businesses through tracking solutions for a fleet of company vehicles.
  • Household: Having kitchen devices that can now be controlled by your smartphone, such as Wi-Fi kettles or central heating. Appliances can now be switched on before you get home.
  • Social: Keeping up to date with your friends and family through Skype, Facetime, and text messaging rather than travelling to meet them. More specifically for larger businesses, communicating across multiple locations using O2 Just Call Me allowing more efficient conference calls.

The Technology Sector?

All hands on tech! Thanks to these advancements, the UK tech sector has been growing faster than any other part of the economy for several years. “Since 2010, the number of tech – related enterprises in the UK private sector has risen by 31%” (KPMG report, 2015). This is the equivalent of 45,000 new businesses or, in other words, one additional tech sector enterprise every hour of the day for the past 5 years! Industry confidence remains high, where tech bosses forecast a steady growth for the coming years.

An image showing the growth of the technology industry and how tech enterprises have doubled since 2010

The tech industry has grown by a third since 2010

An image showing the expansion of staff since 2015 within technology firms and a 12 month outlook for the tech industry

UK Tech firms have expanded rapidly since 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For businesses within the technology sector this can be seen as positive or negative. Positive, in terms of the growing need and desire for ever-changing innovative products, and for their customers to have the latest devices. However on the flip side of the coin, businesses need to be extremely adaptive to change and responsive to trends. With newcomers entering the technology market all the time, it’s important for your customers to be able to distinguish you from the crowd and choose your business. Is your company following the trends? Is your business staying ahead of industry innovators?

Business Tech

With the growth of Britain’s technology sector continuing to outstrip GDP, it is helping to seal the UK’s reputation as a global springboard for new enterprises. For businesses this is a huge opportunity for growth but also to remain competitive and keeping abreast with growing trends. Therefore Welcomm and partners are constantly investing in new methods and technology. The use of digital services for a business on a daily basis has never been more important. The risk of ensuring security with McAfee, accessing files from any location anywhere with Office 365 and secure content collaboration through Box.

There’s also a need for businesses wanting more simplicity, Welcomm and partners are constantly investing in new methods and technology. O2’s 5 year network modernisation plan to roll out 4G amongst 98% of the population by the end of 2017 has nearly been achieved with over 89% now covered. Click Here to learn more.

Moreover, with O2 attending the 5G World Event at London’s Olympia earlier this month, it is clear that a reliance on fast data speeds and network capacity is essential to our working lives. 5G will be the future of mobile technology, bringing a lot more capacity and a lot more speed. Click Here to watch a video.

The Future

All in all, it can be hard to predict what lies for the future of technology. With a fairly stable growth rate forecasted it’s not for certain what innovations will follow through. Both consumers and businesses want convenience and the latest technology trends. For businesses there’s a high priority to remain competitive. It’s also vital to ensure the customers’ needs are met effectively. Having the latest software, devices and security will enable you to do this, but also help you to stay one step ahead of your competitors and work more productively.

Is your business ready for the future of technology?

Written by Sonal Haja.

The Internet of Things: “Those who are most adaptive to change stand the greatest chance of survival”

You may have heard the term ‘The Internet of Things’ flying around. This refers to the advancements in technology which have enabled us to make connections and exchange data through a multitude of electronic devices that we carry with us daily, or that sit within our homes and offices.

Though, is the Internet of things just a buzz phrase? Was it created so that tech companies could sell more products? The answer is no. This is an expression coined to describe a true phenomenon that has captivated consumers across the globe. The digital revolution is here; the world is changing.

People live and breathe technology in their everyday lives. From the minute we wake we are absorbed by the latest social media posts on our Smartphones; when we go for a run we use our health tracker to tell us when to take breaks and when to work harder; some of us even use our phone to boil the kettle for our afternoon tea, before signalling to our Wi-Fi fridge that the milk is running low. The human race is becoming obsessed by technology as a way to enhance enjoyment and make our lives easier.

Let’s take the ‘Nest’ home thermostat as an example. This appliance connects to your phone which allows you to control your heating from anywhere, inside and outside of the house. However, more impressively, it links to the ‘Nest Carbon Monoxide’ sensor and automatically switches off your boiler if an unsafe smell is detected. This in turn, signals your Smart light bulbs to flash a bright colour when there’s a possible safety problem in your home. The Nest can also prompt your washing machine to begin a cycle when your home’s energy consumption is low; it can tell your fridge to witch to low energy mode when everyone is out of the house. Not only that, the Nest is capable of learning your behaviours. By connecting to your car, a signal will be sent to the thermostat when you leave or are returning home. It then learns this pattern of behaviour and will teach itself when the heating needs to be turned off and on. Very clever gadgetry.

In a world that is changing and being consumed by the digital age, it’s important that businesses move with the times and take advantage of the new technology out there. Our way of living is advancing, and technology will soon start to propel at such an accelerated speed that the world as we know it will change completely.

“Today is the slowest rate of change we will ever experience. And those who are the most adaptive to change stand the greatest chance of survival.”
– Jonathan Macdonald, The Next Web, Speaker

Clearly, buying Wi-Fi fridges for your offices would not be cost effective. But there are many digital products on the market which are helping businesses to work smarter.

An issue that is becoming more prominent in the world of business is security. Due to our lives revolving around the internet, it has become much easier for a person to hack into our data through emails, low-level storage sites like Dropbox or files sent online. This worry can be easily alleviated through digital products such as McAfee, a malware and security service; or Box, an online storage platform which allows you to send files and collaborate over a secure network. Box was actually so secure that the experts at McAfee couldn’t hack it when trying for 8 months!

Another product that is revolutionising the way that employees and customers collaborate, video call and share emails/calendars is Office 365. This add-on service enables businesses to co-edit internal documents with the Microsoft package and can be integrated with Box for high security file sharing.

If you’re looking for a more niche digital solution, there are services such as Windows Intune available which lets companies manage all of their business devices from one portal: laptops, iPads, phones etc. Or O2 Just Call me which saves employees a lot of time when organising conference calls.

With this in mind, ‘The Internet of Things’ doesn’t only benefit consumers. Digital products are innovating the way that businesses work. They are available on a per license basis from Welcomm Communications, which gives companies the perfect opportunity to trial digital services at a low cost. To read more on these services, click here.

services

Join the digital revolution and help your business work efficiently and grow. Don’t let the consumers have all the fun!

To learn more about the services available from Welcomm, call 0800 064 64 64 or write to us here.

                                                Written by Keegan Stanton.