Connect Cardiff

Considering changing ISP?

Posted in Connect Cardiff, Tewdric, nsuk on May 17th, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

After months and months of experiencing bad broadband performances or poor customer service and feeling you have nowhere to turn, you make your decision: it is time to change your Internet Service Provider. But sometimes, this process can seem as frustrating as your current broadband.

According to the latest survey from ISPreview.co.uk , over one third (35%) of UK broadband customers are discouraged from changing provider because they are concerned about potential service downtime. 27% are concerned that the migration process would imply additional costs, and 13% are discouraged because they consider the process to be ‘too much of a hassle’, especially because of the MAC Code System. Nonetheless, Ofcom, the communication industries regulator,  is currently working on their Strategic Review into Consumer Switching which is aimed at making the change process between providers “quicker, cheaper and easier for consumers”.

In August 2010, the difficulties involved in switching provider had already been pointed out by a study realised by the magazine Which? . Nearly half of the respondents (10,000 people) had encountered problems when trying to change broadband provider. Among the main obstacles they faced, on-going billing after cancellation, difficulties in contacting the provider’s customer service, problems with establishing the new connection and downtime were stated.

However, nothing, really, should stop you from switching provider if you are not happy with the level of service you receive: it is your right. Why should you pay for something that you are not satisfied with?

People generally want to switch provider when they experience a slow and inconsistent connection. We also often see in the media complaints of customers who don’t receive anything near the download and upload speeds that were advertised and mentioned in their contract. The theoretical ‘up to’ speed has, quite rightly, come into criticism with ISP’s with large advertising budgets under pressure to publicise the real speeds of their services.

So bad performance experiences along with poor customer services are factors that may make you consider changing ISP but when the time comes to decide which new ISP you are going to select, think about it thoroughly.

There may be a lot of ISPs covering your area. But do you know how to find them? And what criteria are you going to use to choose them? Price, however important, should not be the primary consideration. We believe that consistency and good quality are equally crucial.

When changing ISP, do your research: Use comparison websites, read reviews and forums dedicated to broadband providers. More and more customers’ testimonials are becoming available, so don’t hesitate to use them. You can also find help through WISPA, The Welsh Internet Service Providers Association  that aims to improve self-regulation and drive the competition within the ISP sector in Wales and which has the knowledge and expertise to provide you with useful information regarding your Internet supply.

Then, you really have to think about your needs. Listening to what other customer have to say is important, however you have to take your needs into account. So think about what you need broadband for, your monthly usage, how much time a day you spend online, how many users you are going to share your connection with and everything related to your general usage.

Why not switch to Spectrum Internet?

We are a Welsh ISP that understands you and understand how frustrating it is not to get services that you pay for. We deliver fast, consistent and reliable broadband at a fair price. We are transparent and don’t advertise speeds we would not be able to deliver. We make the efforts of stating the ‘realistic’ speeds our customers are likely to receive, and don’t use terms such as ‘up to’.

With us, you know where the services come from, and you know who to talk to in case of problems. Excellent customer service and reliability is important to us. Our local engineers have the necessary skills and experience along with a deep knowledge of the area to be able to offer rapid set up and support. We own our infrastructures and have a large network in South Wales which allow us to be and stay available for you.

Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 billion.

Posted in Communic8, Connect Cardiff, Tewdric, nsuk on May 13th, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13343600

As everyone else who has heard the news, you are probably thinking: “This is a lot of cash for a company that does not turn a profit!” But surely with the acquisition of Skype, Microsoft doesn’t expect ROI; it is more about getting market share, a user base and stopping its competitors from buying it. From a non-financial point of view, the deal makes sense in the time when communication methods are becoming increasingly amalgamated (into unified communications).

When you consider that Skype has 170 million registered and active users, with 600 000 new registrations every day and 207billion minutes of calls in 2010, it is clear that with this purchase, Microsoft will become a much stronger player within the mobile market and as they also want to become the leader in VOIP and video communications, both in businesses and at home. It seems that Microsoft has made the next step towards a complete communication solution.

It has been announced that Skype will be integrated in Windows Phone, Xbox and Kinect, Bing, Office 365, Windows Live Messenger, Lync, Outlook, SharePoint, Internet Explorer, Azure, and other Microsoft products. But as part of their commitment to offer communication solutions to everyone, MS has declared that Skype will continue to support non-Microsoft devices. It means that Mac and Linux versions of the VoIP service will still be developed.

The company has therefore bet on unified communications, whether it is for individuals or businesses.

The integration with Microsoft Outlook and Office via Lync Server would mean that the users of these services are now less likely to look to other VOIP providers. It can also mean that Microsoft will hope to sell more copies of Office and Lync to business users working with Skype but not currently using Microsoft software, and more upgrades to people who already use it but want new versions with these latest feature. Indeed, if the software already exists in the system, people will only have to buy the hardware.

So what does it mean for other VoIP and video conference providers?

Traditional hardware providers will have already found Microsoft, as well as other software companies have eroded market share. Microsoft’s Unfied Communications server, Lync, already integrates with voice and video hardware solutions from Polycom so now it is improving its software PBX to offer the full package. But Polycom, leaders in voice and video conferencing hardware already sits well with the software giant due to their strategic alliance on the Open Collaboration network where product roadmaps and marketplace decisions are shared. Therefore integrating Skype won’t be a major issue.

On Twitter, polycom CEO, Andy Miller has welcomed the news with several tweets:” Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype is great news for us on many fronts.” “[Microsoft’s acquisition] takes Skype out of the competitive equation and places it with one of our closest strategic partners” and also “The integration of Lync and Skype is positive for Polycom–the better Lync performs, the greater our opportunities for video, software and infrastructure sales”

Overall, for the market, it is expected that the price for video conferencing system will fall within the next few months, encouraging even small businesses to invest in the technology.

Without any doubts, by putting live communications at the heart of its business, the acquisition of Skype will allow Microsoft to strengthen its presence on the unified communications market. In the long term, this deal could help Microsoft’s development and presence on the mobile phone market with video-calling for Windows 7 Phones allowing the computer giant to create what it described as “the future of real-time communications.”

On Twitter, polycom CEO, Andy Miller has welcomed the news with several tweets:” Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype is great news for us on many fronts.”  “[Microsoft’s acquisition] takes Skype out of the competitive equation and places it with one of our closest strategic partners” and also “The integration of Lync and Skype is positive for Polycom–the better Lync performs, the greater our opportunities for video, software and infrastructure sales”

Overall, for the market, it is expected that the price for video conferencing system will fall within the next few months, encouraging even small businesses to invest in the technology.

Without any doubts, by putting live communications at the heart of its business, the acquisition of Skype will allow Microsoft to strengthen its presence on the unified communications market. In the long term, this deal could help Microsoft’s development and presence on the mobile phone market with video-calling for Windows 7 Phones allowing the computer giant to create what it described as “the future of real-time communications.”

Compliance strategies: the necessity of having a long term plan for information security

Posted in Communic8, Connect Cardiff, Tewdric, nsuk on May 11th, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

The latest study undertaken by SC magazine about information security professionals’ attitude towards compliance shows that 40% of executives are no more aware of their organisation’s security risks than they were a year ago. Even though 60% have declared to know more about these risks, the ratio still seems worrying at a time when securing your company data is absolutely vital. Organisations are under heavier compliance and regulations pressure than ever before. Indeed, from the growing number of government regulations to consumer privacy concerns or to hackers’ attacks, the companies IT assets are becoming increasingly challenged.

Being aware of the security risks is a start, but the most important step is acting on them.  As it is stated in the SC magazine article, “there remains a suspicion that many security professionals with so much to worry about on a daily basis tend to relegate compliance to the lower echelons of their agendas.” So are security policies actually being followed and does anyone within the organisation monitor if they are actually working at all?. It appears that 40% of organisations still don’t regularly measure and report on how secure and compliant their IT environment is to their stakeholders and 60% do not have a continuous trending reporting mechanism available within the company. Businesses need to have a long term plan for information security and compliance and have to enforce adherence to the security policies.

The question of rewarding the employees according to their security and compliance performance has been raised. This way, people could end up becoming more aware of their responsibilities and the security risks linked to their activity. It has been argued that this could be a new target to achieve for employees to receive financial reward.  But do compliance and respect of security policies really need to be rewarded or isn’t it a matter of professional conscientiousness? In order for everyone to be aware of security risks,  compliance with IT security must be part of the employees’ induction and informative websites such as ecrimewales.com could be used in training sessions where e-crime examples can be shown and explained in an interactive way that even those with basic IT skills or needs can understand and assist the organisation’s compliance.

After all, compliance has become crucial. A few months ago, according to a study by the Ponemon Institute and Tripwire, it was found that noncompliance costs organisations almost three times as much as compliance with information security regulations and standards. Also, business disruptions, loss of productivity, financial penalties from the Information Commissioner’s Office are the most considerable losses for businesses that did not achieve or maintain compliance. Executives need to consider the compliance with security vital for their company and see the cost involved as another business long term investment, as they would invest in a CCTV system or other security appliances.

“How dirty is your data?”…well, ours is all clean!

Posted in Communic8, Connect Cardiff, Tewdric, nsuk on May 4th, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

Greenpeace has issued a new report challenging the energy choices made by many cloud computing market leaders.

How Dirty is Your Data? , the latest report released by Greenpeace, compares the energy choices of who it describes as the “top ten global cloud companies” *. The report claims that these big cloud computing businesses are perpetuating the use of fossil fuels.

This is contradictory with the general views on cloud computing which is considered to be good for the environment as it can lower energy consumption by cutting down on the number of physical servers companies need. Moreover it allows remote working which can have an impact on fuel consumption. But according to Greenpeace the IT sector is largely ignoring renewable energy to run their data centre.

Indeed, by considering big names such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, Greenpeace found that their internet’s data centres are often concentrated in places that offer cheap and dirty coal-powered electricity such as North Carolina and the US Midwest. As for developing economies, data centre operators rely on diesel generators.

The reports also shows that data centres currently consume 1.5-2% of all global electricity, a figure that is rising by 12% a year. At this rate it is important to understand that companies need to be more responsible about the energy usage and carbon footprint of their infrastructures.

To us, data centres have to be considered as part of a solution for the environment, not as a problem.

That is why we have invested in the design of our data centre to maximise energy efficiency. We have been powering our data centre with renewable energy and we use a ventilation system to cool the server rooms. Being green also involves recycling packaging and old products, and disposing or reusing internally our equipment. We also use low energy lighting with movement sensors and we have signed up to renewable energy tariffs.

We don’t like to contradict ourselves: if we provide solutions that would be beneficial to the environment, we need to deliver them in a green way.

*Akamai, Amazon Web Services, Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo.

Your employees are now the biggest threat to your business.

Posted in Connect Cardiff, Tewdric, nsuk on April 20th, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

Yesterday, at Infosec 2011, the biggest theme was the risks of using social networking sites at work.

Indeed, without even being aware of it, your employees could be the biggest threat to the security of your business’s confidential data.

A few weeks ago, BBC news  reported that smartphones and social networking sites were the next big target for cyber criminals. People need to be aware that there is a huge amount of security holes in social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Among the most common threats are web links that encourage users to click through to other sites containing malware and applications designed to collect personal information. Web criminals can use this information to trick people into scams that appear to relate to them personally and seem to be sent by one of their friends.

Therefore, it cannot be stressed enough the fact that people have to be extra vigilant when using these sites during working hours or on the same mobile devices they use to access business information, as it could lead to a security breach within the corporate system and have terrible consequences for the company.

Organisations should be looking for ways of using the latest tools and devices while keeping control over sensitive data. But is not only about the technology, they also have to educate their employees about the growing number of breaches and threats that are constantly diversifying.


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