Archive for May, 2011

Don’t let concerns about security cast a cloud over your projects

Posted in Communic8, Connect Cardiff, Tewdric, nsuk on May 31st, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

A study carried out by research analyst OVUM has revealed that multinationals are becoming increasingly interested in cloud computing technology. It states that 45% of multinationals are using the cloud nowadays, a raise from 24% in 2010. The cloud offer them many benefits such as data back-up and storage, communications services, web hosting, corporate IT systems, networking or applications software. The numerous advantages of the technology explain its success.

However, at the European level, another study performed by AMD has shown that concerns about security are still preventing many companies from considering moving services and data into the cloud. Indeed, 59% of businesses have declared that security is the main barrier to cloud adoption.

Their concerns could easily be explained when considering the amount of “Security Data Breach” or “Hacking” stories related to big names in the news recently. So it can be understood why some firms may be reluctant to the adoption of cloud services, however, they need to be aware that all providers aren’t all the same.

Of course, relying on a third party to secure data, application and networks is a matter of trust. At Net Support UK we are committed to work closely with our clients to ensure that all their requirements are met AND work hard ourselves to understand the security threats that surround our clients and hosted services so that we can offer advice on how best to secure the cloud. In fact, we believe that for small and medium businesses in particular, the cloud can improve their data security, as most of them do not have the finances, resources or skills to create and maintain secured systems. As Graham Titterington, Ovum principal analyst, points out: “For 95% of businesses, they will certainly be more secure in the cloud than they would using their own DIY approach. The hackers will have an easier job getting into their server than they would getting into a server of a cloud provider [...]” In other words, yes, hackers will try to get into a cloud provider server, but as the levels of security are likely to be higher, they are more likely to give up than to achieve anything.

As more and more workers are able to work remotely, accessing cloud-based services and using mobile devices, it has become absolutely essential for businesses to choose a reliable cloud service provider or a third-party data centre.

Data and information protection is key to the cloud technology; this is why we continuously monitor and add new levels of security to our system. After all, our reputation as a private cloud provider is at stake too. So we deliver our services from our own private data centre, monitor activities 24/7 all year long, ensure our staff are up to date in terms of issues that may occur as well as knowledge on the latest ‘Infosec’ thinking and use a variety of technologies to tackle current threats and prevent future ones. Even our hosted VOIP solution offers a more secure-led advantage over our competitors.

Businesses should select a local and professional cloud provider like us that delivers its service from a secured date centre which is run by people whose job it is to manage and secure data and who are interested in working closely with you to answer all the concerns you may have.

The increasing popularity of mobile broadband calls for good quality and consistent wireless technologies.

Posted in Connect Cardiff, Tewdric, nsuk on May 27th, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

Ofcom’s latest report on mobile broadband access shows that more and more people are using this technology nowadays.

Since constant availability along with the need of continuous access to information, data and online services are key factors in many people’s lives, getting online from anywhere has become crucial. Indeed, as mobile broadband access through laptops, dongles, smartphones or tablets has become mainstream, people expect and, somehow, are expected to be online whenever and wherever they are.

Surprisingly, the Ofcom study also shows that approximately 7% of UK homes use mobile broadband as their only method of connecting to the Internet; an increase form 3% in 2009.

This need for constant access, whether at home or when on the go, does highlight the importance of the quality of the wireless provision.

As this form of technology is becoming increasingly popular, WIFI solutions providers could be victim of their own success: If too many people use the same connection, it can get slow. Statistics shown by Ofcom report reveals that the average mobile broadband speed is 1.5Mb, meaning it takes 8 seconds to load a basic webpage. Speed and consistency remain the major challenges for wireless solutions providers.

As everyone has to share a limited amount of bandwidth, the most reliable service is required. It is therefore up to the ISPs to make the efforts required to deliver the best services to the customers.

Time for the videoconferencing boom?

Posted in Communic8, Tewdric, nsuk on May 23rd, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

A new Icelandic volcano eruption has kicked off and it is bringing back memories of the travel chaos experienced last year. For weeks aeroplanes were grounded, the European airspace was closed and millions of people were prevented from travelling and left with a bitter feeling of frustration and helplessness: We all felt that there was absolutely nothing we could do but wait.

From a business point of view, this kind of natural disaster does raise major problems. No business can afford to stop their activity for weeks, whether it is due to an ash cloud or snow storms, or any other unforeseen event. The cost of inactivity could be disastrous. So it is about time to change the way business is done to tackle efficiently these kinds of threats that are, apparently, becoming more and more frequent. If for some reason we cannot get to work, work should come to us! Remote working and videoconferencing are technologies that really can help companies pursuing their activities when nature is out of control but are also cost and time saving solutions all year long.

Think about it: although it is unavoidable in some cases, a large amount of business travel can be replaced with videoconferencing. Travel costs and the time taken to travel can be reduced significantly as globe-trotting employees can get much more done in-between international meetings. Between various transportation costs, accommodation prices and other business travel expenses, it is easy to quantify the savings you can achieve. You can expect a fast ROI from a video conferencing system. It is also a time saving solution for people who have a busy schedule, since meetings can take place without leaving the office and be called upon almost instantly. Projects that involve geographically remote decision makers or people who are physically unable to move can be managed more efficiently and urgent issues can be solved rapidly with the same interaction you would gain all sitting in a room together.

With High Definition technology, it feels a lot more like you are all in the same room and are able to see people clearly, hear them speak perfectly and even display documents. Visual information such as slide shows, whiteboards and other multi-media can also be integrated in a video conference. So why spend time and money in travelling when you can meet virtually from your offices?

Limiting the time spent on travelling to meetings will enhance the productivity of your employees and improve their work life balance. They don’t have to stay stuck in traffic or to suffer from transportation delays anymore. Instead, they can attend several meetings in one day without leaving the office and worrying about the hassle, stress and fatigue of travelling.

Sure, people can also be available through other means of communication, but video conferencing conveys eye contact and body language, which are not expressed via email or telephone. The face-to-face experience provided by the technology is more engaging and can reinforce business relationships.

Last but not least, in these environmentally conscious times, it is a green and responsible use of technology. Instead of travelling by airplanes or use company cars, you can measure and report on the reduction of your carbon footprint and fuel consumption by interacting through videoconference. For a business, it is always good to know that working smarter and not harder also is the environmentally friendly solution.

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.”


Error in my_thread_global_end(): 1 threads didn't exit