How transforming your phone system can make your business mobile

Remote working is on the rise and hosted voice can help your business be more mobile.

Remote working is growing and taking the world of work by storm so much so that experts predict that by 2020, more than 70% of UK organisations will have adopted flexible working. In addition to this, 66% of employees claimed their productivity improved when they worked away from the office.

However, having a PBX phone system can cause problems for companies that want to adopt remote and flexible working as their historic phone system simply doesn’t allow for mobility with their employees.

Instead, they have to fork out mobile phone contract costs as well as the cost of their on-site phone system, which can mean bills quickly rack up.

Traditional communications saw a divide between phone and IT system, but today, the world of phone and IT have converged. Employees are mobile, teams can be virtual, and IT has moved to the cloud.

By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be made up by the millennial generation – a generation who’ve grown up using advanced technology and mobile phones. Surely, making them use a legacy phone system could hold them back within the business?

Switching things up

Switching to a hosted voice system can have plenty of benefits for a business. Not only does a hosted system bring together landlines and mobiles on a single, cohesive phone network but, as it’s an all-encompassing product, the contract is reflective of that.

Flexibility is vital as a business, and a hosted voice solution allows for a degree of flexibility, ideal for companies that are looking to grow or relocate, and perhaps even downsize. Everything is housed under one virtual telecommunications roof meaning should a business ever need to scale up or down, it can be done easily and effortlessly.

Legacy phone systems presume that every employee has the same requirements but, with a hosted voice system, there is far more scope for customisation depending on each user’s requirements and roles within the business.

Mobility is made simple as phones can easily be switched between an office location’s wifi network to the mobile phone network, effectively turning one handset into both a desk phone and a smartphone.

Hosted voice also breaks the rules when it comes to geographical location and area codes. Traditionally, your location was revealed via the area code you’d use to dial.

However, using a hosted voice system comes equipped with the ability to infer that your staff are in an area, even if they’re not. Therefore, employees can work from home while also using their office line, which makes adverse weather conditions easy to tackle and enables businesses to offer a flexible working arrangement which appeals more and more to the masses.

Modern phone systems are no longer just about ‘voice’. They’ve evolved to offer several unified communications capabilities such as instant messaging, video calling, presence, mobility solutions and collaboration tools.

The working day is no longer just a 9-5 and employees are craving more flexibility and more opportunities to work remotely. A hosted voice system is designed with maximum business productivity as its sole purpose, so why are you waiting to switch?

Daisy-Group-Digital-Infrastructure-in_Higher_Education

Digital Infrastructure in Higher Education [Infographic]

How HE institutes can tackle the  challenges of providing the perfect digital environment.

The students of today and tomorrow are digital natives expecting more from technology than their predecessors. With the average student now owning seven internet-ready devices, a ‘connected’ campus shapes as much of their higher education years just as much as the ‘physical’.
Continue reading “Digital Infrastructure in Higher Education [Infographic]”

Further and higher education solutions for a connected campus

A free guide to enhance your connectivity on campus.

In order to differentiate your college or university in an increasingly competitive market, you must treat your technology and communications as integral elements of your institution, helping to reshape and re-imagine everything you do.

While digital technologies offer huge opportunities to innovate and grow, many education institutions lack the resources, time, technology or know-how to grasp them.

At Daisy we remove the complexity and, with our end-to-end capabilities, give you the technological foundations on which to build your connected campus.

Click here to download your copy of the brochure: Further & Higher Education Solutions for a Connected Campus >>

Bungay High School

Bungay High School students

The difference the leased line has made to the school has been nothing short of amazing. So much so that Bungay High School is about to become one of the first schools in Suffolk to move our entire infrastructure to the cloud.

Rick Hekkenberg, IT and Network Manager at Bungay High School

The Background

Bungay High School is a mixed secondary school situated in Suffolk, which also comprises a sixth form centre located less than a mile away. It currently has approximately 1,500 students, aged 11 to 18 years, in total across two sites.

Founded in 1565, the school achieved academy status in 2011 and prides itself on its strong working relationship with parents. Bungay High School also leads the North Suffolk Skills Academy (NSSA) and works closely with two feeder schools, Bungay Primary and Edgar Sewter Primary.

The Challenge

Technology has helped transform the classroom over the last decade. From students conducting online research to teachers integrating digital content into lesson plans, the internet has become pivotal to the learning experience pupils at Bungay High School receive.

However, the increased use of laptops and online learning platforms such as Moodle added a significant strain to the school’s existing bonded ADSL internet connection. In the past, the joining of multiple broadband lines had proven to be an adequate solution, but the greater demands placed upon the network meant that it struggled to cope, and speed and reliability dropped as a result.

Rick Hekkenberg, IT and Network Manager at Bungay High School, said: “The rising number of devices connecting to the internet meant our bandwidth was reaching full capacity. Students would have to wait for videos to finish buffering and, in some instances, they wouldn’t even be able to access online materials. Entire lesson plans would have to be reworked if they involved YouTube because of the slow speeds. It was hindering our ability to deliver an interactive learning experience.”

The school also required a fast and reliable internet connection for administrative use and to regularly back-up its data as part of its disaster recovery plan.

The Solution

In 2013, staff at Bungay High School turned to the team at Daisy and tasked them with finding a solution to the problems it faced.

After looking into the school’s data usage and knowing it wasn’t located in a fibre-enabled area of the country, Daisy specialists identified that the school needed a leased line – a dedicated, high-speed internet connection which offers symmetrical upload and download speeds.

“Leased lines had previously been discussed as an option, though our budget at the time couldn’t quite stretch to it and the ADSL solution was meeting our requirements. Our account manager explained that costs for this type of connectivity solution had dropped and, better still, in our case it could be installed without any upfront costs. Without this kind of proactive assistance, we would still be using the insufficient solution,” said Rick.

A 30Mbps leased line was subsequently installed to ease the burden on the school’s network, however it was the upgrade to a 100Mbps connection in 2015 that would have the greatest impact. Not only did the upgrade guarantee faster speeds and more reliability, but it also allowed Bungay High School to implement a virtual private network (VPN). This has enabled both staff and students to securely access the school’s network and resources such as Moodle outside of the classroom.

It was also agreed that Daisy would handle the security of the school’s network with a managed firewall, helping protect it from viruses, malware and hackers.

The Result

Since implementing the leased line, VPN and the fully-managed firewall, Bungay High School has seen a range of improvements and benefits.

Rick said: “The difference the leased line has made to the school has been nothing short of amazing. So much so that Bungay High School is about to become one of the first schools in Suffolk to move our entire infrastructure to the cloud. This has only been made possible thanks to the connectivity solution, which is backed up by robust service level agreements, which Daisy provides us with.”

But the 100Mbps leased line has meant the school benefits from more than just faster speeds and a more reliable connection.

Rick added: “Having a virtual private network means we can now offer students access to the school’s Moodle platform from home, and staff are no longer forced to work on site during school holidays. The solution also enables us to quickly perform regular backups to help protect our valuable data.”

Bungay High School was so pleased with the solutions it received that it recommended Daisy to work with its two feeder primary schools and the North Suffolk Skills Academy. Today, each one has its own dedicated internet connection provided by the same supplier, meaning the four sites now form part of a “connected learning network”.

Accrington and Rossendale College

 

We use our mobiles extensively across the college, from sending text messages for matters of student support, providing our on-call IT and facilities staff with a means of communication and having a supply on hand for school trips. It is therefore essential that the mobiles are as cost-effective, reliable and user-friendly as possible. We are pleased to report that we have had no problems since the deployment and that the new devices have been welcomed by all users.

Richard Kelly, IT Operations Director at Accrington and Rossendale College

The Background

For more than 50 years, Accrington & Rossendale College has been providing award-winning education and training to the students of Hyndburn, Rossendale, the Ribble Valley and beyond.

In addition to a diverse curriculum of further education, Accrington & Rossendale College boasts a highly respected university education programme.

The Challenge

Prior to working with Daisy, Accrington & Rossendale College had a large mobile contract on the Orange network with another telecommunications provider.

The contract only offered the college a shared business plan, meaning that call and data allocation was not evenly distributed across all users. As a result, staff were unaware of their minute and data allocation, allowing some people to use considerably more of the call allocation than others.

The college sought a new and better deal which would provide an online portal as well as a billing platform.

The college had also found that it was unnecessarily overspending on its telecoms because it did not need as many handsets as the previous supplier was providing.

The Solution

Accrington & Rossendale College selected Daisy as a result of how competitively priced the provider would be over a two-year contract. The value of the bundles were viewed as being particularly good, providing the college with a high level of data and call usage. Daisy was also in a position to offer 4G, an attractive feature which at the time was widely unavailable amongst other telecoms providers.

Daisy deployed a selection of 48 mobiles to Accrington & Rossendale College, a reduction of almost half of what it received from its previous provider. The deployment included standard Nokia devices in addition to the latest iPhone handsets.

Richard Kelly, IT Operations Director at Accrington & Rossendale College, said: “We really liked the technology Daisy could offer us and the Vodafone network has proved to be very effective. The level of service delivery was very quick and our mobiles arrived with the SIM cards already inserted and username details included. This made it much easier for us and meant that we could use the mobiles almost straightaway.”

Richard added: “We do like buying locally wherever possible and the location of our mobile account manager is ideal should we encounter any issues.”

The Result

As a result of reducing the number of mobile phones and Daisy offering a competitively priced package, Accrington & Rossendale College has noticed a cost reduction of 42% on previous bills. In addition to this, the college has benefited from the added ability to receive warnings when people are reaching their data and call limits, rather than do it retrospectively which can result in incurring large, unexpected bills.

Richard said: “We use our mobiles extensively across the college, from sending text messages for matters of student support, providing our on-call IT and facilities staff with a means of communication and having a supply on hand for school trips. It is therefore essential that the mobiles are as cost-effective, reliable and user friendly as possible. We are pleased to report that we have had no problems since the deployment and that the new devices have been welcomed by all users.

“The cost reductions have been a real highlight as we are now able to reinvest this money into supplying vital learning resources for our students.”

Accrington & Rossendale College now regards Daisy as a major strategic partner who they are happy to work with in the future.