IMG_0988

Case Study – Rural Business Park can really offer it all

IMG_0988Local Estate invests in superfast broadband network so that its tenants can enjoy the dream of work life balance.

Hutton Wandesley Estates offers small to medium size businesses, the opportunity to work in an attractive office environment located in a picturesque and historical village in the heart of North Yorkshire. With strong transport links to both York and Harrogate as well as easy access to the A1, Hutton Wandesley Estates can offer it all.

Sasha York, Director of Hutton Wandesley Estate, commented “We’ve just completed the first part of a superfast wireless broadband project to provide our commercial tenants with a business class service at both our Sycamore Barn and Manor Farm Barn offices in the village of Angram. We will be expanding this network in the second phase to residents in Angram and a residential development due to be completed in the Autumn. Angram is a small hamlet west of York which has been neglected by national ISPs.”

Sasha continues “As many of our commercial tenants are from the creative sector, having access to superfast broadband is vital to our business offering. We have struggled with the service that the national ISPs were supplying, 1 Megabits at best, which just doesn’t suffice for today’s online businesses.

Hutton Wandesley Estate has been working on a solution for over two years. Working with Signa Technologies and Deep Blue have enabled us to put in place the service we wanted to provide. Together they have designed and installed a network that meant we could offer our tenants packages from 10Mbps up to 30Mbps with room to grow as demand requires. This is a huge improvement and our tenants agree”.

Mike Harmer, who runs a Web Design company at Manor Farm Barn, one of Hutton Wandesley Estate’s business centres, said “using the internet is essential for the operation of my business as nearly everything is cloud based. When I first moved to Manor Farm the broadband was particularly poor and I needed to use a 4G dongle to try boost the speed, but this still wasn’t great. Fortunately, I knew the new network was coming and now it’s here the connection to the internet has vastly improved. I am now able to upload large files and back up my data without having to think about it.”

Mike continues “as the service is reliable and fast, it has encouraged me to come to the office more, as before I would need to work from home to be able to send client files over the internet.”

Martyn Boswell, Managing Director at Signa Technologies stated “working alongside an IT company such as Deep Blue, helps us deliver not only a robust broadband service but also gives Deep Blue a platform to sell innovative business solutions such as VoIP telephony, which is usually only available to companies located in urban areas.

We hope to work with Deep Blue on many more of these types of network projects in the near future.”

Ross Knapman at Deep Blue added “As a Telecoms business, we know only too well the struggles rural areas face with their technology connections. Teaming up with Signa Technologies is a vital step to ensuring areas such as Angram have improved solutions, speed and reliability.”

If you have a business that would like to provide WiFi to its customers such as a hotel, leisure facility, or place of interest; or you are a business that needs to connect various properties with internet service but are struggling to get the connectivity, then please get in touch and arrange a chat about what Signa can do to help your business. Contact us at info@signa-uk.com or telephone 01423 900 433. Alternatively you can discuss your requirements with Deep Blue on info@deepbluetelecom.co.uk or 0333 240 9100.

 

 

Top Tips for a stress free Summer

Everyone looks forward to the warmer months, but in the business world it can be a balancing act between giving your staff the time off they deserve while still giving your customers the service levels they need.

Here are our top tips to becoming a summer sensation and recharging your batteries without compromising on service!

Prepare Your Customers Let your customers know in advance when you will be away, give yourself that time to really enjoy your break.

Put Marketing on Auto-Pilot Don’t go completely dark on the marketing front so people start to wonder where you are. Pre-schedule posts, blogs and other forms to stay connected.

Set Your ‘Out of Office’ Decide how often and when you plan on checking in, what date you will be returning back to work and how you can be reached in an emergency (if at all) and detail those Summer rules in your out of office announcement.

Intelligently Handle Incoming Calls Whether you close completely or reduce your hours, let a ‘Virtual Office’ take care of the day-to-day. From voicemail to call forwarding to auto-attendants, your phone system has the capability to intelligently handle incoming calls while you are away.

Deep Blue customers can log into our Knowledge Base to find assistance with setting these facilities or contact us for more information on a tailored system for your business

summer

It’s here! The Deep Blue Knowledgebase

The first few customers have received their logins for the Deep Blue knowledgebase and the feedback we have had so far has been really positive! Don’t worry if you haven’t received your login yet as we are rolling these out throughout the week.

When you first login, try typing ‘How do I use the knowledgebase?’ in the searchbox to find out how to get the most from the information available.

If you spot an error or can’t find the answer you are looking for please let me know at rachel.macleod@deepbluetelecom.co.uk so I can get it fixed, the knowledgebase is a continually growing and changing resource so we appreciate any comments or feedback.

kb screenshot

Avoiding Telecoms Fraud at Christmas and year round

With many offices closing or operating with minimal staff at this time of year, it is the ideal time for fraudsters to strike. Telecoms fraud is something that spoils the start of the New Year for companies year after year, but there are steps you can take to prevent your company from being affected.

Make sure phone systems and voicemails are secured with passwords that are changed regularly, if your system has remote access configured, make sure your network is secure.

If you don’t need to make calls to premium rate and international numbers, consider setting up outbound call barring for these numbers. If you are using Horizon you can do this yourself through the portal, for any other system just give us a call on 0333 240 9100 to get it setup.

If you get your calls through Deep Blue you get the reassurance of knowing that our systems monitor call traffic volumes and alert us if you hit your daily or weekly threshold to minimise your exposure if you are unfortunate enough to get hacked.

Hunt group failover

#FestiveFailovers

The last thing you want at this busy time of year is to be worrying about your phone system being out of action so for the final part of our Christmas tips section we will be talking about festive Failovers.

 

InBound DR Plan – Build an alternative call plan to use if the destination of your main call plan is unavailable for any reason, when you have finished your call plan, click Validate to make sure it is correct then check the box that says ‘Make this my DR plan’. You can then go to the point my number tab and activate this plan at anytime that you need it.

 

Horizon Hunt Group Unreachable – Go to Call Groups > Hunt Group and click edit next to the number you wish to set up. Select Options and check the box next to ‘Enable Call Forwarding when unreachable’, put in your failover number (any number that wouldn’t be affected by a power/broadband outage such as a mobile) and click Save.

Hunt group failover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The system will automatically trip over to the failover number if communication between the handsets and the Horizon platform is disrupted.

Fixed Line – Should your phone lines go down, or should you be unable to access your premises, simply call the office on 0333 240 9100 and we will be able to apply a temporary divert at the exchange to forward your calls to an alternative number.

 

That’s it for our Christmas tips, all that’s left is to wish our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Keep a look out in January for updates on the launch of our New Knowledge base to help you get the most from your telecoms set up.

shutterstock_321694946small

#ChristmasCallPlan – Call Forwards 2

With the Horizon and InBound platforms it is quick and easy to re-route your calls over Christmas.

Previously InBound – Create a Christmas call plan using the date and time control nodes to send calls where you need them, when you need them. Add in a Divert node to build additional destination numbers if your main destination is busy or unavailable. Use the ‘Schedule Activate Option’ so you can build you Call Plan in advanced, knowing it will activate when you need it to. Available here.

Today Horizon – Use Call forward and Divert options to send calls to mobiles. Set up Voicemail to email alerts so you get copies of your Voicemail messages sent to your email for you to listen to where ever you need to. Use the Hunt Group schedule facility to plan your call plans in advanced.

Horizon Call Forward Hunt Group –

Send calls to your mobile or home phone using the Hunt Group Call Forward options. Go to Call Groups>Hunt Group, click Edit next to the Hunt Group you wish to forward. To send calls directly to your Divert number, go to Advanced Settings and use the call forward option (make sure to hit Save whenever you make changes!).

hunt group

 

 

 

 

To forward to another number after first ringing on your Horizon handsets go to Options and Use the Forward after x seconds option.

options forward

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voicemail to Email Hunt Group –

Receive an email notification whenever someone leaves you a voicemail, including the date, time, callers number and a copy of the recording. Go to Call Groups>Hunt Group and click edit next to the number you wish to make changes to. Go to the Voicemail tab tick the box for ‘Notify me at this address’, type the address you wish the email to be sent to and click save.

 

Voicemail notify

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunt Group Schedule –

Add Christmas, New Year and other Bank Holidays into your call Schedule. Under Advanced settings, click Edit Next to Schedule, then click the plus sign next to Additional Routing.

Schedule1

 

 

 

 

 

Name your Schedule and click Create, on the Add Event screen, give you event a name and specify the start and end dates (these are displayed in month/day format). If you untick the box marked All day event you can specify your start and end times. In the example below the event covers from midday on 24th Dec to 5pm on 28th, after this normal routing would apply:

Schedule2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have set your date and time you can then click create, you can add further events (such as New Year) by clicking on Add event again. Once all your events are created, close the window. Finally click Save.

Not sure? Just email details of the dates, times and forward number to info@deepbluetelecom.co.uk with the subject Christmas Call Plan and we will set it up for you.

#Festive Failovers coming on Monday.

shutterstock_342379244 small

 

 

#ChristmasCallPlan – Call Forwards

With the Horizon and InBound platforms it is quick and easy to re-route your calls over Christmas.

Today InBound – Create a Christmas call plan using the date and time control nodes to send calls where you need them, when you need them. Add in a Divert node to build additional destination numbers if your main destination is busy or unavailable. Use the ‘Schedule Activate Option’ so you can build you Call Plan in advanced, knowing it will activate when you need it to.

Coming Soon Horizon – Use Call forward and Divert options to send calls to mobiles. Set up Voicemail to email alerts so you get copies of your Voicemail messages sent to your email for you to listen to where ever you need to. Use the Hunt Group schedule facility to plan your call plans in advanced. Now available here.

InBound Date and Time Control Nodes

Day time

 

 

These nodes allow you to set different termination points on different days and at different times (e.g. one for Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and one for evenings and weekends).When you add these nodes into a call plan two boxes appear, one called control and one called default. Click on the control box to specify certain days and times and then drag a destination node onto the box to specify your termination number. Drag a destination node onto the control box and any days/times not listed on the control box will follow this routing. So in the example below, the calls route to destination Y Mon-Fri 9-5 and destination X at all other times:

 

Call plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

InBound Divert Node-

divert

 

 

This allows you to set alternative destinations if a destination number is busy, not answered or suffering from a network error. Simply drag a divert node onto a destination node and then add destinations for each of the three options.

InBound Schedule Activate –

Once you have built your call plan, instead of clicking Activate, instead click Schedule Activate. In the window that appears specify the start date and time for this call plan then click Done. Your call plan will appear as if it is already active but if you go back to the call plan list it will show your call plan with the date and time it is due to activate next to it.

Horizon Call Plan options and #Festive Failovers still to come, keep checking back!

shutterstock_319432766small

Changes to non-geographic call charges

We’ve all seen it, the small print on adverts and TV shows under the non-geographic number saying ‘Calls cost 20p per minute from a BT landline. Other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.’ Great if you have a BT landline but not so helpful if you are calling from anywhere else.

In response to research showing that people are confused by how charging for service numbers works, Ofcom are bringing in changes to make it all a little clearer.

From the 1st July onwards the rate you pay per minute to call numbers beginning with 084, 087, 09 and 118 will consist of two parts:

Part 1 – The Access Charge – This part is determined by whoever bills you for your calls (such as Deep Blue)

Part 2 – The Service charge – This part is determined by Ofcom based on the number prefix

So what does this mean for you? From July 1st onwards any company using an 084, 087, 09 or 118  number will have to change the wording of their small print to make callers aware of both parts of the non-geographic call charge e.g. ‘Calls cost x pence per minute, plus your providers access charge.’