New Office

New Office – A moving story

Just imagine: it’s your first day in a brand new office. The desks are in place, the PCs up and running, customers have been informed – but your phones aren’t working. This is a major crisis for any company that depends on calls or the internet for its business.

If you’re moving to a new office, there are 101 things to organise, cancel, pack and arrange but your phone lines and numbers are one problem you can be totally relaxed about.  Deep Blue is experienced in ensuring a smooth transition between locations, taking over the communication with Openreach and ensuring all your services move with you.

With a range of continuity options, project management and experienced support we take the stress (well some of it at least) out of moving office.

Just let us know when you are moving, where you are moving to and which lines and services you will need and we can do the rest. Any additional costs are quoted in advance and we will keep you informed of any engineer visits and installations.  So if you are moving or adding new offices contact us today for valuable advice.

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VoIP – 9 reasons to make the change now

Making changes when you have an established business is always difficult, this is especially true when it comes to something as critical as your telecoms. Ifyou’re not sure whether you are ready to take the plunge with VoIP, here are 9 reasons that might persuade you that now is the time to make the change:

Flexibility

Freedom from fixed lines!

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Freedom from fixed lines

Take your numbers with you if you move site with no delays: simply uplift your equipment from one location and connect it in another. Choose your number; select the area code you want to use, set up blocks of numbers, add additional numbers whenever you need them.

Manage more than one business? Control all your calls from one place. Set up numbers and call plans for targeted campaigns and special promotions to track call volumes. Manage calls for your London sales office, your Leeds tech team and your Manchester warehouse all from one online portal.

Managed Transfer

With full training included as part of your setup, Deep Blue make sure that you hit the ground running when you switch to a VoIP system.

Pre-build and test set ups allow you to get your call plans in place before your numbers move. With options to have your telephone numbers migrated at fixed time slots or even out of hours, impact to your business is minimised.

Growth

Fully scalable solutions.

Systems that are designed to grow with your business. Get new staff set up quickly and easily. Adapt your call routing to suit your needs. Move users in and out of hunt groups with a few clicks to manage busy periods and promotions.

Security

Happy creative team making high five in office.Business,people and teamwork concept.

Concentrate on growing your business with the peace of mind that comes from a secure, feature rich VoIP solution.

Built in peace of mind.

Built in fraud protection monitors your call volumes 24 hours a day to keep you safe from potential fraud. Sending out alerts and even automatically applying call barring, it limits your exposure should the worst happen. Multi-layer security protocols and compulsory passcodes close off the hackers most common routes of access.

Features

With a range of features available, even on entry level setups, VoIP solutions from Deep Blue offer so much more. You can build call plans, create Hunt Groups, even create your own auto attendant. As your business grows, so too can your telephony. Call queue features and wall board integration make building your own call centre a breeze.

Need to be MiFID II compliant? No problem! Feature rich call recording keeps your customers and business safe.

By taking advantage of the option to self-manage you can control all your telephony functions in house. No more waiting around for engineers and call out charges.

Continuity

Get disaster recovery that kicks in automatically, rerouting your calls to keep you up and running. No need to rely on the local exchange or your onsite system to divert your calls.

Send calls to mobiles or alternative phone numbers. Change your voicemail message from your mobile or home phone to keep customers informed. Get new equipment delivered the next working day*.

Mobility

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Work from home

Free yourself from the desk.

Set up home workers with their own handsets so they can work as if they were in the office. Use desktop soft clients and mobile apps to make and receive calls wherever you are. Ma

nage your DDi with just a few clicks.

Your workplace is wherever you want it to be.

Cost

If your business grows faster than you expect and you need to increase your call capacity, traditional setups like ISDN can throw up all kinds of unexpected costs. Relying on Openreach to install, there are both activation and engineering charges which can quickly mount up. And that’s before you even get into the time costs.

With VoIP solutions from Deep Blue there are no activation fees for new SIP trunks and if you have a compatible set up, they can be up and running in a matter of minutes.

Withdrawal of the PSTN

Things are changing.

VoIP handset

Things are changing!

From 2023, Openreach will stop selling ISDN lines and from December 2025 it is their intention to fully withdraw the PSTN network: ISDN included.

While that gives businesses plenty of time to make the change, when you consider that 16 million lines and channels will need to be migrated to alternative products it’s worth start

ing to look at other options sooner rather than later. That being said, there is no need to panic or rush to make the change (as some providers would have you believe!).

Our article ISDN withdrawal – the key questions answered has more information about the withdrawal and it’s potential impact.

If all of this has got you thinking maybe your business is ready to take the next step then speak to Deep Blue. We’ll go over all the details with you, arrange a site survey if needed and give you all the information you need to make the decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*When ordered before 2pm, subject to conditions.

 

 

secure telecoms

The first telecoms fraud and the lessons to take from it.

The First Telecoms Fraud

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Secure Telecoms

In the 1830s, two French brothers: François and Joseph Blanc, committed the first telecoms fraud.

The brothers were bankers working at the stock exchange in Bordeaux, trading primarily in Government bonds. The movements of these bonds were influenced heavily by what was happening further North in Paris. There was one problem though, messages on these market movements took about five days to reach Bordeaux. Anyone who could get details on the market movements ahead of their rivals stood to make a fortune. Many had tried, even using carrier pigeons. The Blanc brothers came up with a way of sending messages by ‘hacking’ the telecoms network of the day.

At the time France had the first National telecoms network , although it looked a little different to the telecoms networks we think of today. Instead of copper cable and distribution points, the French system used multiple series’ of towers with huge wooden signalling arms on the top to create an optical telegraph. Through various levers and pulleys, the arms on top of the tower could be moved into different  positions to signify letters, numbers and even whole words. Operators in each tower would maneuver the arms of their tower to match those of the adjacent tower, sending messages down the chain like a Mexican wave. The first problem for the Blanc brothers was the Network was only for Government use and on the line from Paris to Bordeaux there was a station part way along where messages would be checked so any message snuck in at Paris would be intercepted and removed long before it reached Bordeaux. The second problem was that, due to the sensitive nature of the content being sent along the line, only operators at the start and end of the routes knew what the signals meant. There was one exception to this: the signal which meant ‘backspace’. If a signaler made an incorrect sign, they could follow it with backspace, letting the end tower know to disregard it when the message was decrypted.  It was this that the brothers used to get their messages.

A contact in Paris would note movements in the market and send these with a messenger to a tower in Tours, South of where messages from Paris would be checked (problem 1 resolved). Here a tower operator (who had been well bribed) would convey these movements by putting intentional errors into messages that were being sent (problem 2 resolved). A third conspirator based near the final tower in Bordeax would watch the incoming message, keeping a look out for the error. Whatever signal preceded the backspace signal represented how the market was moving. when the message was decrypted at the final station in Bordeaux the erroneous signal was removed and no one was any the wiser.

The fraud worked for two years and, despite their rivals suspecting something was happening, the actual means of their success was only uncovered when one of the bribed signalers confessed all on his death bed (some reports say this was due to guilt, others that it was try to recruit his replacement). The brothers and their co-conspirators were arrested in 1836 but it seemed luck was on their side once again as, despite the towers being for Goverment use, there were no actual laws in place prohibiting their use for the sending of personal messages. The brothers ended up walking away free men (although the others weren’t so lucky because there were laws against taking bribes) and new laws were quickly put in place.

So what relevance does this hold for businesses today?

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Where’s the weak link in your chain?

While the ways and means may have changed, telecom fraud is as much an issue now as it was back in 1830’s France. Here are some of the lessons we can take from the first telecoms fraud:

  • Just like modern ways of sending data, the optical telegraph used a form of encryption to protect the content being sent along it, but all it took was the one known signal – backspace – for the hackers to find a way to infiltrate the network. It only takes a small flaw or weak point.
  • The Blanc brothers plan may seem like a lot of effort just to get very basic messages BUT the pay off was huge. It is the same for today’s hackers. While it may take a fair bit of work, a compromised telephone system can generate tens of thousands of pounds in revenue in a very short space of time.
  • Ultimately the weak link in the optical telegraph was the people operating it. A few bribes and the whole system was compromised. While bribery may not be the weapon of choice nowadays, people are still often a systems vulnerability. Using insecure passwords and codes (1,2,3,4 anyone?), revealing passwords to fraudulent callers and even malicious action from individuals against their own employer are some of the most common ways fraud happens.
  • Laws aren’t always able to protect you. At the end of it all, even though the brothers were caught red handed, they got off free because of the laws and regulations of the time. While there are laws against hacking in place now, many fraudsters are not convicted as they operate abroad, away from the reach of the law. On top of this, if you are hacked you have to pay any call charges generated by the hackers and then attempt to claim them back. If you don’t, you could be the one in trouble with the law.
  • At Deep Blue we try to do all we can to support and protect our customers. From expert engineers to help keep your telecoms and IT systems safe, fraud prevention plans on our hosted and IP products, call barring options and much more. We can’t stop fraud, but we can learn from the mistakes of the past to try to build a more secure future.

 

Copy of Beer Festival Flyer

Wetherby Lions Beer Festival Sponsor

When last orders were called at the annual Wetherby Lions Beer Festival, the two-day event was hailed as a ‘roaring’ success.

Locals and visitors from afar turned out in their hundreds to enjoy the jamboree in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. With a wide variety of craft ales, some great live music, tasty hot food and entertainment for children, they all combined to ensure a fine time was had by all.​

Deep Blue Telecom are proud to sponsor local events such as
The Wetherby Lions Beer Festival

We’ll be at Collingham Real Ale Festival too – see you on 8th-9th June 2019

Wetherby Lions Beer Festival

newjob

Employee Leaving – seven things to remember

Employee LeavingAn employee leaving is often a stressful time – and if it’s not a happy split could cost your business thousands in lost revenue or expenses. Here are seven tips you can take to protect your business and make the employee leaving as hassle free as possible.

1 Numbers

Did the leaver have a DDi? Don’t miss a call by recording a voicemail message to say it’s no longer in use or forwarding the number on. Learn how to do this for Horizon, InBound and iPecs.  If the employee leaving was part of any Hunt Groups make sure to edit these.

2 Email

Change the password on any email accounts the employee leaving had access to. Consider how you are going to manage the closing of that email address. Shutting it down too quickly may result in customers and suppliers not being able to reach you, or worse, new business opportunities being missed. Use options like forwarders to send any emails to alternative addresses and auto responders to let people know that that email is no longer in use.

3 Infrastructure

If the leaver was involved in the management of your telecoms systems, IT infrastructure or any other technical systems you have, make sure these are reviewed. Change login details, review user permissions and update security settings. Find out how to make changes to your Deep Blue provided services at our knowledgebase.

4 Portals

With workers moving away from the traditional office environment, many systems now have online portals. These can be accessed anywhere at anytime. Take time to review portals to make sure that they are up to date and that only those who should have access, do. To find out how to manage your Deep Blue provided services visit our knowledgebase.

5 Suppliers

Suppliers are the lifeblood of many companies. If the leaver dealt with your company’s suppliers make sure they are updated. Tell them of the employee leaving and who their new point of contact will be. You can update your Deep Blue approved contact by completing our Contact details form.

6 Training

Arrange training for new staff so they are ready to take over from the employee leaving. At Deep Blue we provide free refresher and new starter training on Horizon and InBound. Specialist training on other systems with one of our highly trained engineers is also available. To learn more or to book email theteam@deepbluetelecom.co.uk or call 0333 240 9100.

7 Leaving do

Plan the party safe in the knowledge that everything else is taken care of (whether you invite the leaver is up to you….)

 

As business communication specialists Deep Blue are available to support you – whatever the situation. Not yet a customer? Speak to us today about moving your services to Deep Blue.

 

 

 

ISDN – It’s demise and the impact on your business

The ISDN standard was set in the late 1980’s, during this time the World Wide Web was just being invented, mobile telephony was just finding its feet – and still analogue and urgent business documents were sent by fax!

ISDN

In many ways, still using ISDN is like driving a sports car:

  • The car represented cutting edge technology when it was launched
  • These days it’s not as efficient as modern counterparts
  • Reliability is a worry and issues can take days to resolve
  • Although a classic, sticking with the old model may no longer meet your basic needs

At this point, you’d consider upgrading to a newer model that is fit for purpose.

Here’s why you should do the same if your business is still relying on ISDN.
 

  • ISDN lacks the agility needed to meet the needs of today’s fast-moving consumers
  •  The management of multiple offices can be time consuming, maintaining consistency of service across offices is often difficult
  • Scalability is slow and often expensive
  • It can’t be combined with modern technologies like Ethernet to enhance voice services
  • Disaster recovery is slow

ISDN

Next generation SIP technology is fast becoming the ISDN replacement solution of choice, as it can bring many benefits to your business, including improved service features for greater efficiency gains, increased flexibility to meet the changing needs of your workforce and enhanced quality of service for customers.

Technologies like SIP trunking offer a more flexible, cost-effective telecoms solution for your organisation to help you achieve your business goals. That’s why it’s time to add ISDN replacement to your business agenda.

How resilient is your existing telecoms provision?
How much could downtime cost your business?

Need a little more information?
Contact our team on 0333 240 9100

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A simple guide to recording and storing conversations to comply with MiFID II

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What is MiFID II?

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, commonly known as MiFID II, launched in January 2018. First introduced by the EU in response to the 2008 financial crisis, MiFID is a set of sweeping reforms for the financial industry designed to prevent history from repeating itself in the same way again.

Replacing the original Directive, MiFID II brings changes to many areas relating to conduct of business, including far more robust rules around the recording and storing of conversations.

This easy-to-digest eGuide cuts through the jargon and highlight the key parts to help you become compliant.

(click the images to view more)

Who needs to comply?

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What needs to be recorded?

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How do recording need to be stored?

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How do recordings need to be monitored?

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The clock is ticking… are you ready for MiFID II?

Get in touch with Deep Blue today to find out more about how MiFID II is going to impact your organisation and how we can help you comply with these new regulations.

info@deepbluetelecom.co.uk or 0333 240 9100.

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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.

 

 

Ryan Sidebottom – Iconic swing bowler calls time at the top of his game

At the end of this county season iconic swing bowler Ryan Sidebottom will call time on his 20 year career as a professional cricketer, a career which has spanned 3 decades and seen him break records for his country and county. Playing a pivotal role in England winning the T20 World Cup in 2010, Ryan is the only player in the recent history of the game to win five county championships.

Ryan Sidebottom

​Ryan will retire from the sport still at the top of his game and is arranging a number of testimonial events to celebrate his career at which he hopes to see many faces from the last 20 years to make his retirement celebrations a time to remember for everyone involved. 

Deep Blue Telecom are proud to sponsor Ryan in his final season as well as supporting two charities close to Ryan’s heart: Martin House Children’s Hospice and his own Cricket Foundation, who will benefit from money raised during the testimonial period.