Create a Bank Holiday 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.
InBound Date and Time Control Nodes
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.
InBound Divert Node
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,
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.
Just email details of the dates, times and forward number to email@example.com with the subject Bank Holiday Call Plan and we will set it up for you.
At Deep Blue we currently have funding to offset the cost of new Horizon hardware. Couple this with the Connectivity+ Voucher scheme and there has never been a better time to switch to VoIP.
Funding is available for both existing and new Deep Blue customers, whether you are currently on VoIP or not.
Making any type of change to your business can be a daunting prospect, especially in the current climate. This is why we have put together the following guide on the key points to consider and debunked some of the common myths around SIP.
What to consider
What is your company’s structure? Are you all based in one location? Or do you have multiple sites or homeworkers? How do these sites need to be managed?
With Horizon you can choose how you manage calls at different sites and adapt and change them whenever you need to.
How do each of your company’s departments operate? Are they desk based, out in the field or a bit of both?
Do you have a receptionist or gatekeeper?
Do some staff deal with calls from multiple departments or numbers? Do they need to be able to move in and out of these hunt groups?
With Horizon you can mix and match hardware and apps to give each staff member exactly the setup they need. A handset with side car for reception, laptops with video calling for training, seamless integration of desk phone and mobile app for sales.
The easy to use Horizon online portal allows you to manage your hunt groups at the click of a button. You can move staff in and out of Hunt Groups, re-route calls, add voicemail without the need for an engineer appointment.
The Weaknesses of your current setup
What does your current setup do well and where does it fall short? What are the issues that cause your colleagues problems? Are you missing functions you really need? Are you paying for extras that you never use?
Once you have identified what your main issues are, your Horizon system can be tailored to truly meet your company’s needs.
They say time is money and in business this is particularly true. Not only are VoIP systems like Horizon cost effective, they can also be setup quickly.
Our fastest turn around was for a company who found out their sales team needed to be able to record calls for compliance. They contacted us at 10am and by 2pm they had three sales staff making and taking fully compliant calls on Horizon.
What changes will you need to make over the coming months? Is your business impacted by seasonal peaks in call volume? Will you need to support staff in working from home as well as the office? Are you potentially going to need to move site due to changes in needs or the end of a lease?
We understand not everyone wants to get into making changes to their phone setup, which is why our support team is on hand to assist you in any tweaks you may need doing.
But for those companies where adaptability is key, Deep Blue provide full training on your Horizon portal so that you are fully in control of your calls.
Present different numbers for different departments. Move staff in and out of hunt groups in response to demand, for example if you are taking more calls due to a promotion. Schedule your calls to route differently at the busiest parts of the day. Feel fully in control with full call stats and analytics.
Still not sure if you want to change?
Deep Blue has secured funding for both new and existing customers to help offset the cost of your new Horizon system. For many businesses, this will make your new handsets completely free of charge.
The Connectivity+ Voucher scheme can also help if you need to upgrade your broadband connection to make full use of VoIP. Our post on the Connectivity+ Voucher scheme has more details.
If you have never used VoIP before you may have reservations about the service quality. Here are some of the key myths debunked.
The call quality is lower than that of fixed line
For many of us, our first experience of VoIP will have not been a good one. Tinny, distorted sound; delays, packet loss and that was if the call got through in the first place!
Early VoIP was subject to many limitations. The broadband connection it ran over, the hardware it used (often built in speakers and microphone on a PC or laptop), the software powering it.
But things have come a long way and modern SIP call quality is more than comparable to ISDN.
It will be expensive
Often the latest tech comes at a price, usually a high one. But SIP is a very cost effective solution. Unlike ISDN, you are not subject to the same engineer costs should you need to expand your system or make changes.
We offer Horizon bundles with inclusive minutes so that you can know what your bill will be each month.
Add in the lower upfront cost of SIP vs ISDN and the savings soon add up.
It is an unproven technology
SIP technology is trusted by thousands of companies, big and small, across the UK. Deep Blue have been running our offices off SIP for more than 10 years.
With the approaching end of life for ISDN, more and more companies are making the switch every day.
The Horizon development team are always working to expand and further develop the service. Taking on feedback from users to constantly improve the platform and it’s functions.
It will be too much hassle to change
Changing phone systems used to be a resource intensive process, often resulting in disruption and extended downtime. The migration to SIP is surprisingly easy and quick.
You can even run Horizon alongside your current system to keep downtime to a minimum.
At Deep Blue we manage the migration process for you, taking the hassle out of the switch to SIP.
Ready to make the change? Whether you are already on SIP and are looking to improve your system or are looking to jump from traditional telephony, our friendly team is on hand to help you get started.
Still not sure? Our knowledgeable team can answer any questions you may still have. We can also provide demos of Horizon so you can see what the service is like before making any decisions.
Contact us today on 0333 240 9100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Connectivity+ Voucher scheme is offering funding of between £500 and £3,000 to help local businesses cover the cost of upgrading to faster, more reliable digital connections or broadband.
As a company based in Wetherby and providing services to many businesses in the surrounding areas we know all too well how inconsistent broadband speeds can be around here. An office at one end of the street may be enjoying super fast fibre, while just a few doors down, they may be getting by on a 3 Mbps ADSL connection.
We’ve worked hard over the years to try out many different ways of delivering connectivity to our end users and we are pleased with the improvements we have been able to offer to many local companies. But we know that many of these solutions come at a cost and, particularly in the current climate, this may leave faster broadband still out of reach of some businesses.
This is where the Connectivity+ Voucher scheme comes in. They are designed to help cover some of the costs of upgrading your connection.
Vouchers can also be used to cover other costs associated including:
The actual cost of the installation i.e. the cost of the physical connection, including excess construction costs to reach a network
Hardware related to facilitating the connection e.g. a firewall, router, receiver/antennae (for wireless connections)
Virtual servers and software licences (subject to limitation of upfront costs only)
Internal ethernet network cabling
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony
Consultancy/project management cost to install a connection – capped at 25% of the value of a voucher
They can even cover some, or all, of the cost of the first years rental of a connectivity solution providing the first year is paid to the supplier in full at the start of the contract.
Connectivity+ Vouchers are intended to help businesses upgrade to higher speed business grade broadband. They can be used to get your speed over 30 Mbps if it is currently under that, or to double your speed if you currently get over 30 Mbps.
To find out more about what options maybe available to help your business take it’s connectivity to the next level, contact us today.
Whether you see call recording as a box to tick on your compliance checklist, a training tool or as part of dispute resolution: with Horizon it is quick and easy to get started.
But which version of Call Recording is right for your business? Our helpful chart shows the key differences between Horizon standard and enhanced call recording to help you choose the product that is right for your business.
To find out more about Horizon call recording or to order speak to one of our friendly team on 0333 240 9100 or at email@example.com
For the next few weeks we are running free refresher training for both Horizon and InBound, including portal usage re-training and call plan reviews to make sure you are getting the most from your Deep Blue services. To book one of the free sessions just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Think of phone hacking and you probably think of news reports of newspapers gaining access to the phones of celebrities and politicians to gather information. What you may not think of is criminals hacking into the phone systems of businesses.
Once access has been gained to a company’s network, this can be used to illegally route calls, either to make international calls or even to generate revenue from premium rate numbers, all at the expense of the hacked company.
Usually after the companies have closed (often at weekends or bank holidays to help avoid detection) the hackers have gained access to the network and called premium rate (09) and special rate (0871) numbers which they earn revenue from. In some cases this revenue is used to fund organised crime and terrorist activity. Many businesses are unaware that they are liable for any charges generated during these attacks and that getting this money back is a lengthy process.
A case in America that made it to court uncovered an international
crime gang that had access to over 2,500 PBX’s and had illegally routed
calls to the value of $55million dollars. Another case of note, and
probably the most high profile UK victim was New Scotland Yard.
The average call charges faced by a company hit by this type of hacking is £10,000.
As you can see by the figures above, phone hacking is a serious crime and in all cases we advise affected parties to notify the police as soon as the hack is brought to their attention. The called numbers should also be reported to Ofcom and Phonepay Plus.
As with computer hacking, there are measures to reduce this risk of
being hit, however as fast as these measures close one door, the hackers
find ways to open another.
One of the main ways access is gained is through services such as voicemail which allow you to dial into a network externally, but there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of this happening. Ensure all ways of accessing your network are password protected (just as you would put a password on your wireless internet network), change these passwords from the system default and ideally update them often, don’t share passwords, make passwords as long and complicated as possible (many hackers have sophisticated methods that can crack passwords 16 digits long) and keep all access codes secure (some victims had calls from individuals claiming to be from telephone companies asking codes to do work on the network or to update their security).
It is also worth considering what kinds of calls you make; does your business need to be able to call premium rate or international numbers? If not, consider call barring features so if your network was compromised, it would be harder for extensive call charges to be built up.
At Deep Blue we take the security of our customers seriously which is why we partner with a number of developers and services to provide additional security to our customers. We use multi level monitoring systems to track call traffic volumes. These alert us and can even automatically apply out bound call barring should suspicious activity be found.
If phone hacking is something you are concerned about or if you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact one of our friendly support staff.
Telephone scams, which target both business and residential customers, are always a nuisance. Here are some top tips to help you stay scam safe:
Don’t trust the number on the display
Scammers are able to present numbers to make it appear like they are calling from the company they are claiming to call from. A legitimate company will always be happy for you to end the call and call them back.
If you answer a call and it is an automated message giving you the option to press a key to call back: don’t!
You have no way of verifying what number you will then be connected to. This leaves you unable to verify if you are being connected to the organisation or company that the call claims to be from. You may also end up with a large bill – many scams use this method to route you on to a premium rate number which generates charges that go straight into the scammers pockets.
If you do decide to call a company back, ideally call from an alternative number
If this is not possible then it is best to wait a while before using your line to dial out. Scammers have been known to keep lines open so you think you are dialing out to the legitimate organisation, but instead are still talking to them. They have even been known to play dummy dial tones down the line.
Never allow these callers to talk you through installing anything on your computer
Deep Blue and many other companies do, on occasion, use remote desktop facilities to carry out work on customer’s behalf. We will never contact you out of the blue to do this. This is only ever done on a prearranged basis. If remote works are needed we will agree a date and time with you in advance and give you details of the engineer who will be contacting you.
Deep Blue will never call you asking for immediate payment over the phone
If an invoice should fall overdue we will send notification to the registered accounts contact advising them of this, along with details on how they can pay.
Deep Blue will never threaten to immediately cease your service due to payment or usage issues.
We always endeavour to work with our customers to resolve issues before they reach the point of having their service suspended. On the rare occasions that we do have to suspend a service we always provide written notice of this before it happens, along with details of how to prevent this from happening.
Use the resources available to you to Stay Scam Safe
If you are using a landline: make sure you have registered for TPS. This can’t stop all nuisance calls getting through to you but it can reduce the number. For customers on the Horizon platform, the blacklist can be used to block nuisance numbers. Check with your provider to see what kind of fraud protection services they have in place. At Deep Blue we work with our carriers to provide a range of added safety services on our lines as standard. These services monitor your call traffic and can alert us to any suspicious activity. They can even automatically apply temporary call barring to limit your exposure should you get hacked or scammed.
To discuss your telecoms, contact us at email@example.com or on 0333 240 9100. If you would like to know more on how to stay scam safe, the Met police have a number of resources available like their Little Booklet of Phone Scams.
Monday 23rd December – 9am until 5pm
Tuesday 24th December – 9am until 12pm
Wednesday 25th December – Closed
Thursday 26th December – Closed
Friday 27th December – Closed
Monday 30th December – Closed
Tuesday 31st December – Closed
Wednesday 1st January – Closed
We will be happily back to work on Thursday 2nd January – 9am until 5pm
OUT OF HOURS
During the festive shut-down, EMERGENCY SUPPORT is available. Please leave a message on the number below and a member of our team will be in touch.
Whatever the size and shape of your business, with Horizon you have a wealth of features available to you. Ensure you are getting the most from your Horizon system with these helpful tips so your telecoms can be truly unlimited.
Horizon Disaster recovery
Don’t get caught out! There are many things can stop you using your office but with Horizon that doesn’t mean losing your calls. With pre-programmable disaster recovery you can designate an alternative number to automatically route your calls to in the event of your Handset losing contact with Horizon (for example due to a power outage).
Can’t get to your office? Control your call plan from anywhere you have an internet connection – even your mobile. Just login to your Horizon account and redirect your calls to an alternative number or update your voicemail to let callers know what’s going on.
Custom Hold Music
Did you know you can upload custom hold music on Horizon? Use free to air music or have special music created for your company with bespoke messages. It’s so easy to change. You can even have seasonal messages or advertise promotions or events. To find out more about formatting your audio files and changing your hold music, visit our knowledgebase.
Visit the Performance section of the Statistics tab to learn all about your calls. See where your customers are located; great for doing target advertising. Find out when your busy days and times are to manage staffing levels accordingly.
You can also view statistics for outbound calls. Get an overview for the whole company or use the search facility to view details for a specific user.
For even more detail you can view the Advanced Statistics section. See detailed information for all calls in and out as well as internal calls. Use the search boxes at the top to filtre your results by day, time, call type (inbound or outbound), call scope (internal or external) and user. Click download to export a csv file of all results.
Regularly review your Horizon call plans to make sure you aren’t missing important calls. Use the scheduling tools to send calls through to overflow hunt groups at your busiest time or add an auto attendant to get calls where they need to be as quickly as possible.
If you haven’t already, consider upgrading to full call queuing. Queue up to 25 calls at a time, offer callers the option press 1 to leave a voicemail and add your own custom comfort messages.
Missing important calls due to nuisance callers tying up your lines and staff? Getting harassed by problem callers? Use the Horizon blacklist tool to stop them from getting through. Any number added to the blacklist will get an unavailable tone whenever they try to call you. Visit the knowledgebase to find out how to manage your blacklist for call groups and user handsets.
DeepBlue customers get full access to our knowledgebase. It’s full of helpful guides on how to setup and manage many functions on Horizon, with images to help guide you along. You also get access to our friendly, knowledgeable staff who are happy to assist you in the management of your system. We even provide free refresher training on using the Horizon portal, just give us a call on 0333 240 9100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not a Deep Blue customer? If you think Horizon maybe the solution you need then speak to us today about moving your numbers on to it.
Already on Horizon? Speak to us about migrating to Deep Blue.
The latest V15.5 3CX Update – 6 – has gone gold. It’s an important update too, not only does it come with many new features & improvements but it also has updated SSL certificates that are required.
Check if you already have the latest version by looking at your license on your dashboard, it should end in 6. SSL Security Updates
In the next month 3CX will be updating the security certificates on their servers, required for secure communication with 3CX. This means that you will need to go to update 6 as soon as possible. 3CX continue to add many security features under the hood to ensure safe operation of the PBX and secure communications. For those of you who missed the release of V15.5, Update 6 it comes with some great new features. Amongst others, it includes a WebRTC softphone within the web client, smarter smartphone apps, SSL Security updates and more. Upgrading to the latest service pack is critical and we highly recommend you do so as soon as possible.
3CX Version 15.0 and 15.5 Users
To make the upgrade process easy for you 3CX have prepared some tools which will automatically upgrade your PBX to Update 6 through all service packs. These tools can be used by all customers who are already on version 15.0 and 15.5 regardless if you have maintenance or not.
Back up 3CX to either your documents folder (preferable) or desktop.