5 Things You Should Consider When Moving to a Cloud Telephony System

What You Should Be Considering When Moving to a Cloud Telephony System.

As technology evolves at an incredible pace, businesses need to evaluate their processes and weigh up their priorities, including their telephony systems and unified communications strategy.
Cloud telephony has future-proofed communication strategies by replacing physical systems with a more manageable and cost-effective alternative online. A flexible platform like this makes perfect sense in the modern business landscape, but if you’re thinking of making the switch, there are still some key things to consider.

1.No Telephony switch/control equipment (hardware or virtual) is required at your premises

With a cloud telephony system, there is no need to have physical phones or equipment. However, you should think about those staff member that might like or want a desk phone as these will normally come at an extra cost to your softphone.

2. Moves, adds, and changes completed quickly

Unlike a traditional phone system, you can normally make any changes at the click of a button, or by talking to your managed services provider. Any additions to the workforce can be quickly and easily added. Likewise, any removals can be just as easy.

3. Hosted telephony is scalable

As mentioned in point 2, there is no limit to the number of users that you can have on a hosted telephony platform. Physical ISDN/PSTN lines or having capacity with your physical PBX, no longer determines how many users and concurrent calls you can have.  Your maximum number of concurrent calls is now only restricted by your Internet connectivity.

4. Users can work from the office, their home, or at any location where they have Internet connectivity

There is no longer a need to be tied to a physical office; all calls can be made and received using an App on their laptop, smartphone, tablet, or simply from a web browser. Users can make a call from anywhere in the world while displaying the office number, still benefiting from live analytics, reporting, and call recording, if relevant.

If integrating with Microsoft Teams, it is as easy as downloading the app to a device to get started.

5. The call quality is dependent on your Internet connection

You can only benefit from the freedoms of cloud telephony once the right infrastructure is in place. A reliable Internet connection is essential to making sure everything runs smoothly.  Most new Internet lines use fibre-optic today and this is recommended for anyone who wants the best call quality.

It is important that your Internet connection has appropriate spare bandwidth available, has low latency, and is error-free with zero packet loss.  Whilst these requirements may sound technical, your managed services provider will be able to help you validate the suitability of your connection.

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The BT Openreach 2025 PSTN and ISDN Switch Off – What is it?

The ISDN Switch Off – What’s Happening?

In 2025 BT is switching off their Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) services. This change will affect all residential and business customers and aligns with the Government’s promise to see 15 million premises connected to fibre by 2025. 

For businesses, it will not only mean that your phone services are affected but also services that run on your phone lines using the PSTN network. This will include services such as EPOS machines, alarm monitoring services, fire monitoring services, and lift emergency phones.

It is not only in the UK that the migration to digital is taking place. As technology evolves, phone companies around the world are adapting. The switch-off is already underway in countries like Germany, Japan, and Sweden, with Estonia and the Netherlands already having completely switched off their networks. 

Why is it happening?

Technology has evolved significantly and quite simply the PSTN network has become outdated and costly to maintain.

What are the alternatives?

Of course, the retiring of the telephone network as we know it would not be happening if there was no new technology to replace it. Over the last several years, telephone systems have been developed to use IP.  This allows telephone systems to use standard Internet connections.  Along with this new technology are many new terms and technologies including:

VoIP: stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and allows you to make and receive phone calls over the Internet. 

SIP: stands for Session Initiation Protocol and rather than just sending voice data like the VoIP phone system, SIP will send and receive any multimedia data such as video calls.

4G & 5G: With the development of 4G and 5G networks across the UK, another alternative is to use your mobile phone as your main point of contact rather than having a traditional landline.

What are the benefits?

Moving to this newer technology offers the same benefits as we see now and some new ones, including:

  • Lower costs
  • Mobility – greater choice of telephone hardware.  You can continue to use a telephone handset as well as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, PCs and Macs.
  • Scalability – telephone systems can easily scale along with your requirements.  Whether it is simply an additional user, or a brand-new office location.  At its simplest form, you simply require Internet connectivity
  • Call statistics more easily accessible
  • Changes can be implemented quicker e.g. call routing and diverts

When do I need to act?

Many businesses have already adopted a digital model, moving their communications to the cloud, making calls over the internet and embracing video conferencing. If you have the supporting infrastructure, then there is no reason why an educated and planned migration to digital lines cannot be considered now.

It is important to start to think about your move sooner rather than later as there could be a lot to plan for and resources to do this will become limited nearer the deadline date. For more information on TruStack’s hosted telephony system, TruStack Voice and TruStack Unified Communications, call us on 0191 2503000 or email [email protected]

TruStack Partners with Wasabi Technologies to Deliver Disruptive Price and Performance Model for Cloud Storage

TruStack has partnered with Wasabi to deliver innovative storage technology at 1/5th the price of the competition with no complex tiers or unpredictable egress fees.

Wasabi hot cloud storage is simple, predictable, and affordable. It enables organisations all over the world to store and instantly access an infinite amount of data at 1/5th the price of the competition with no complex tiers or unpredictable egress fees. Wasabi enables immediate and dramatic price and performance efficiencies for our partners and their customers. Until Wasabi there’s never been an affordable, fast way of storing all your data in the cloud. Wasabi hot cloud storage allows businesses to transform their data into a strategic competitive weapon by enabling them to keep all of their data affordably and giving them immediate access to the data that will allow them to innovate their business for future success.

TruStack Technical Director, Russell Henderson said ‘We had been looking for an immutable storage target for backup data for some time. We already follow the recommended practice of having multiple copies of data held on at least two different storage media types with one being off-site where feasible. However, with the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks, we wanted to be able to offer an offsite, cost-effective, easily accessible, and highly secure immutable offering.

Looking at the marketplace Wasabi seemed to be one of the leaders in this field. A key requirement for us was to have object lock capability with a major backup vendor such as Veeam and to have very little management overhead for the immutable storage itself. Wasabi offers the required storage locations in terms of European data legislation, their Veeam integration was solid, price wise they are very competitive and they provide an MSP management overlay which keeps administration time low.

From a client’s perspective, there is no difference in how they manage their backups once the storage target is set up, providing a secure and easy to consume option at an affordable price for our clients.’

Marty Falaro, EVP & Chief Operating Officer at Wasabi said, ‘The new partnership with TruStack is meaningful because of the unique value they bring to the MSP community and our company in the UK. Wasabi’s hot cloud storage empowers MSPs to further enhance their offering and provide data storage at a disruptive price and performance model. Through the partnership with TruStack, we will continue to grow and scale at a rapid rate together.’

Wasabi provides simple, predictable and affordable hot cloud storage for businesses all over the world. It enables organizations to store and instantly access an infinite amount of data at 1/5th the price of the competition with no complex tiers or unpredictable egress fees. Trusted by tens of thousands of customers worldwide, Wasabi has been recognised as one of technology’s fastest-growing and most visionary companies. Created by Carbonite co-founders and cloud storage pioneers David Friend and Jeff Flowers, Wasabi has secured nearly $275 million in funding to date and is a privately held company based in Boston.

Follow and connect with Wasabi on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our blog.

Talk to TruStack – Week Two Recording

‘Talk to TruStack’ is here and we will be sharing a session recording with you each week. 

Every Tuesday in July we will be opening our virtual doors to talk to subject matter experts. 

Although these events are not strictly IT-focused, we know that many of you either manage a team or work within a team and we feel that it is important whilst working remotely that we talk through important issues that others may be able to help with. 

Week Two

Insight – Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic – Avoiding Burnout

Sara Woodhead – Clinical Lead Insight Healthcare IAPT

  • What impact has COVID-19 had on mental health in the workplace?
  • Signs of burnout
  • How to help with burnout
  • How can we help colleagues and employees?
  • TruStack open forum – ask the experts

Join us next week where we will be discussing business support with Sunderland Software City!

TruStack Announces Security Operations Partnership with Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf Security Operations Solutions Give TruStack Customers Industry-Leading Capabilities to Tackle the Increasing Dangers of Advanced Cyberattacks

TruStack has teamed with Arctic Wolf®, the leader in security operations, to help proactively protect organisations against today’s advanced cyberattacks. Arctic Wolf pairs the intelligence and the scale of a cloud-native platform with the world-class insight of security operations experts to provide organisations with protection against emerging and existing threats.

TruStack is a leading Managed Services Provider based in the North East of England. Amongst its many clients, TruStack counts several of the North East’s Top 200 companies – including Muckle LLP and Collingwood Business Solutions – as well as big names across the UK such as the Natural History Museum and Vertu Motors. TruStack has enabled many of its customers to work from home over the past year-and-a-half by providing hardware such as laptops, as well as software, enhanced security solutions, and unified communications.

“Arctic Wolf is excited for the opportunity to support TruStack’s efforts to expand their product portfolio by offering our security operations solutions, a critical capability that many of their customers are specifically requesting,” said Bob Skelley, senior vice president of Global Channels, Arctic Wolf. “Cyberattacks threaten companies of every size, and organisations are increasingly seeing the need for external security operations expertise, especially when they don’t have the in-house cybersecurity talent to manage their evolving security needs.”

TruStack Commercial Director, Phil Cambers said ‘We are really excited about the new partnership between TruStack and Arctic Wolf. We can’t wait to offer these services to our customers and help enhance their security posture even further. In a world where cybersecurity is constantly changing, our customers need to be offered the best protection available from cybercriminals.’

Arctic Wolf is the first to deliver a complete solution that gives organisations the protection, resilience and guidance they need to defend against cyber threats, including Managed Detection and Response (MDR), Managed Risk, Managed Cloud Monitoring and Managed Security Awareness —each delivered by the industry’s original Concierge Security Team.

The Arctic Wolf® cloud-native platform is delivered by the industry’s original Concierge Security® Team who act as an extension of an organisation’s internal team, providing 24×7 tactical coverage and ongoing strategic security recommendations that continuously improve a business’ security posture.

For more information on TruStack go to www.trustack.co.uk or call 0191 250 3000.

Talk to TruStack – Week One Recording

‘Talk to TruStack’ is here and we will be sharing a session recording with you each week. 

Every Tuesday in July we will be opening our virtual doors to talk to subject matter experts. 

Although these events are not strictly IT-focused, we know that many of you either manage a team or work within a team and we feel that it is important whilst working remotely that we talk through important issues that others may be able to help with. 

Week One 

Muckle LLP – Employees in the remote working environment

Chris Maddock – Muckle LLP

Chris Maddock heads up a team of 10 employment lawyers at Newcastle-based commercial law firm, Muckle LLP. Chris will join us to talk about the work that he and his team have done during lockdown for employers across all sectors and will consider a range of issues including:

  • Hybrid and homeworking and the related legal issues
  • Managing performance remotely
  • Where employment law and health and safety law interrelate
  • What the future working world looks like
  • TruStack Open Forum – Ask the Experts

Stay tuned for week two recording with Insight Mental Health talking about burnout and how to avoid it.

TruStack to continue ‘Hybrid Working’ despite COVID announcement

TruStack has vowed to keep working away from the office in spite of Boris Johnson’s latest announcement – and it believes most companies will do the same.

TruStack has enabled hundreds of organisations across the North East and beyond to implement ‘Hybrid Working’ practices during the pandemic, where staff are able to work effectively and securely from a variety of locations.

And TruStack has practiced what it has preached by having employees working mostly from home, with limited staff in both its Houghton-le-Spring Support Centre and its Cramlington head office at any one time.

Now, in spite of being told his employees can return to the office, TruStack’s Commercial Director Phil Cambers has revealed that high levels of productivity and keeping staff happy and healthy mean his business will keep working in this way for the foreseeable future.

He also believes this will be the same for the majority of North East and UK businesses that have implemented Hybrid Working practices.

Mr Cambers said: “Even though Boris Johnson has said we can go back to the office, we are going to continue doing what we are doing – nothing will be changing at all.

“Before the pandemic many businesses may have been unsure that their employees would show the same levels of productivity as in the office with all the distractions at home, but for us and many of our clients productivity has never been higher, and staff are happy.

“Only yesterday I carried out a survey with a cross-section of our staff and I asked them if they’d rather work in the office, just from home or a mixture of the two, and everyone said they’d prefer a mix.

“From our point of view, nothing is broken, so there is nothing to fix!”

He added: “In fact, some of the more forward-thinking businesses we know were starting to move to a Hybrid Working model before the pandemic even started.

“I think that a more general move towards Hybrid Working would have taken place without the pandemic, but Covid-19 has sped the process up – what would have taken five years has taken 18 months.

“Hybrid Working is the future – it is here to stay, in spite of whatever the Government tell businesses they should be doing.”

Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday will bring its ‘work from home’ order, brought into effect in March last year, to an end on July 19.

Recent data from the Office of National Statistics showed 25.9% of people – or 8.4m people – are currently working from home compared to 12.4% of people before the pandemic.

TruStack has enabled many of its customers to work from home over the past year-and-a-half by providing hardware such as laptops, as well as software, enhanced security solutions and unified communications.

It carried out a survey with some of these customers to gauge their reaction to the new way of working – and the responses were overwhelmingly positive.

Seventy five percent of those surveyed said they expected employees to carry out more hybrid working in the future, while 100% said they had a more positive view of hybrid working as a result of Covid-19.

For more information on the services that TruStack can provide around Agile or Hybrid working please click here.