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Do Small Businesses Really Need Network Management?

We meet a lot of small business owners who experience a LOT of business pain because of badly performing or just downright failing networks. Network connections, (or put more simply your broadband connection and the ability to transact and communicate) have become essential for all but the tiniest fraction of businesses nowadays. Of course, its been the dilemma for as long as technology has been a factor in business that small businesses simply cannot afford to support their technological infrastructure in the way that they know they need to.

So whats to do? Most people are just winging it to be fair. The systems we buy nowadays for business are pretty good but far from perfect.

Of course the real trouble is never expected until it arrives.

So when the perfect storm of unaffordable costs to cover the systems we need and systems failure hits, we need to make decisions we really don’t want to have to make. Unjustifiable costs suddenly become justifiable in the face of the totality of the eclipse and the value proposition changes dramatically until everything is fixed, the network goes back to sleep and calm is restored. Until the next time.

This is where a low cost management solution from Rustyice Solutions really becomes your greatest asset. Our small unobtrusive RCAD (Rustyice Control & Access Device) will sit quietly inside your network continuously monitoring the health of your network devices and also your connection to the outside world.

Our systems offer 24x7x365 real time visibility of a multitude of measurable metrics within your network ensuring that, when coupled with our realtime SMS, Email and Messenger alerts component you are always fully informed about the health of your network systems.

Imagine your business broadband connection goes down in the middle of the night. You don’t want to be in the position where you are making the necessary telephone calls having just realised the problem when you arrive at the office at 8.30. With an RCAP that process can begin via our automated systems while you sleep and can potentially be resolved by the time you get to your front door.

An RCAP is much more than a broadband & network monitor however. Through your RCAP you can monitor anything on your premises such as motion sensors, fire alarm panels, smoke alarms, in fact anything that can be measured by a sensor. You can collect statistics on printer paper use, ACU health, HVAC system performance and even the levels in the coffee machine. The RCAP from Rustyice solutions really does it all and, with a customised dashboard designed by our engineers you will have all the data you need at your fingertips, alerting you at precisely the trigger points you require to ensure your business runs smoothly.

At the superbly affordable price of £14.99 per month why wouldn’t you?

Interested? Contact us today for a test drive. With no contracts and no commitments it really is an offer you can’t afford to refuse.

Contact us today to order your new RCAP.

Hosted Telephony From Rustyice Solutions

rs_logo-with-wordsRustyice Solutions Ltd. is helping to transform the way businesses communicate. We provide each customer with a single communications platform that addresses the needs of every employee, regardless of their location or the device they use.

Our cloud-based platform delivers a range of feature-rich voice, video and unifed communications solutions to your business. We help you to improve the way you communicate with your customers, increasing collaboration and ensuring maximum productivity from every employee.

JARGON BUSTER

WHAT IS HOSTED TELEPHONY?

Hosted Telephony, also known as Cloud Telephony, is where organisations access business telephony as a service. In essence, the capabilities of a traditional PBX are delivered as a service from the cloud, providing comprehensive telephony functionality directly to each extension, regardless of location.

This exible solution enables organisations to scale effortlessly and add functionality on a simple pay-as-you-use basis; including Advanced Hosted Telephony, Collaboration, Mobile Integration and Contact Centre capabilities.

Hosted Telephony is transforming the way companies communicate. Regardless of your company size or the physical location of your employees, you are able to deliver feature-rich business communications to every employee, from the cloud, wherever they may be in the world.

hosted-telepyThrough Hosted Telephony, businesses are easily able to react to change while maintaining best-in-class communications capability, enjoying:

REDUCED COSTS

With Rustyice Hosted Telephony there is no up-front capital investment required. Simply subscribe to one of our “All Inclusive” minutes bundles or take our “Pay-As-You-Use” service where you benefit from free calls between offices or employees working at home or significantly cheaper local, national and international call charges.

ADVANCED FEATURES

Take advantage of enterprise level telephony features such as Auto Attendant, Receptionist Console, Call Centre and Call Recording. Improve the efficiency of your workforce through Presence, Click-to-Dial and Contact Database Integration. Take total control of your services using our sophisticated online management portal.

INCREASED AGILITY

Flex your usage up and down in response to demand or any season fluctuations. Scale rapidly without committing to long contracts. Deploy satellite workers and seamlessly transition between different locations and offices. Take calls on the move, anywhere around the world.

FUTURE PROOF TECHNOLOGY

At Rustyice Solutions we work with key technology partners to ensure that the platform adheres to the latest versions and industry standards. A constantly evolving roadmap allows our customers to benefit automatically from the latest features and developments.

Our customers are freed from the operational and financial burden of maintaining their own equipment and software.

ASSURED RELIABILITY

Use your own, or take a business grade Inclarity broadband or fibre connection for an assured telephony experience which does not touch the public Internet. Set up cloud-based call divert rules in advance – or in real time – to capture all of your incoming calls in the event that your office experiences any local network problems. The Inclarity platform offers 99.999% availability, and in fact we achieved 100% availability across the 12 months of 2015.

HOSTED VIDEO CAPABILITY

Cloud-hosted Pay-As-You-Use video conferencing capabilities mean that there is no need for expensive dedicated meeting room equipment, complex video bridges or changes to your network. Simply connect to a meeting using your desktop, tablet or smartphone and communicate with colleagues and clients wherever they are in the world with excellent sound and picture quality.

CALL CENTRE

Call Centre is an advanced telephony feature that allows a business to better manage its incoming calls, and to ensure that these calls are answered by the correct personnel.

  • Allow agents to control how they advertise their availability for receiving calls
  • Give each agent a specialised dashboard to better manage their calls
  • Queue inbound calls, and play announcements / estimated waiting times to the callers
  • Define busy, out of hours, holiday and emergency failover responses
  • Review the availability and productivity of agents using Rustyice Reporting
  • Define the skill levels of your agents for skills based routing (Premium only)CALL RECORDINGWith Inclarity Hosted Telephony there is no need for expensive on-premise call recording, this capability is embedded within our cloud and can be switched on for particular lines or particular users.
  • User-defined recording for inbound or outbound, external and internal calls
  • Recordings are retained for 6 months as standard (with the option to extend)
  • Simple storage, search, download and playback of calls
  • Fully FSA compliant

CALL REPORTING

Rustyice Call Reporting enables you to obtain a full picture of your inbound and outbound call history so you can manage your business communications.

• Powerful GUI enables you to de ne and run reports

• Comprehensive range of standard reports

• Ability to tailor reports for your specific needs

• Leverage account codes to enable customer billing

• Schedule reports to be sent automatically to you by email

• Select from a wide range of chart and graph options to show your report data in a graphical format

AUTO-ATTENDANT

Auto-Attendant provides the ability to automate the management of inbound calls using voice prompts to identify which services are required and directing the call appropriately.

  • Direct calls to specific extensions
  • Look up individuals in the corporate directory
  • Route calls based on department or service required

Rustyice Hosted Unified Communications (UC) delivers both improvements in the productivity of your staff and an increase in the level of collaboration across your entire organisation.

The Rustyice UC Client is a desktop application that helps you integrate your telephone activity with the rest of your business processes. UC users can access their contacts more easily, and can identify the context of incoming calls more effectively, leading to a boost in productivity and efficiency. When integrated with CRM, accounting or ticketing systems, UC users can instantly spawn or pop the relevant contact records to perform essential tasks more quickly.

UC users can also use the integral Telephone Presence dashboard to see the real-time telephone status of their colleagues, and can instantly identify when these users are not available to take calls or call transfers. User collaboration on projects is improved by knowing when everyone is available to speak.

CALL PREVIEW

Receive an alert on your desktop to notify you that you are making or receiving a call. If the called/calling number is on your Address Book, then you will also see your contact’s name.

OUTLOOK INTEGRATION

Automatically access your MS Outlook Contact Cards for Call Preview, and enable click-to-dial within the MS Outlook desktop application.

OTHER APPLICATION INTEGRATION

Open up lists of contacts from other 3rd party applications for Call Preview, Click-to-Dial and Screen Pop. Supported applications include common CRM packages such as ACT, Salesforce, Sage and MS Dynamics.

TELEPHONE PRESENCE DASHBOARD

Report your current telephone status to your fellow UC users, and access a dashboard showing the current telephone status of these users.

SKYPE FOR BUSINESS INTEGRATION

Push your telephone status so that it is visible to your MS Skype for Business environment. Dial fellow Skype users on their listed telephone numbers from the Inclarity platform.

BROWSER & CLIPBOARD CLICK-TO-DIAL

Enable your preferred desktop web browser so that any telephone numbers you see can be dialled with
a single click. Copy any number from any screen or application to your clipboard, so that it can be dialled with a single click.

IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE

Automatically access customer details and presenting these along with the telephone call to enable a more professional service.

MORE EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION

Provide a real time view to each user showing who is available and so enable them to reach the right expert rst time.

IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE

Making business telephony much easier to use and provide each user with the ability to work the way they want to work.

At Rustyice, we are proud of our track record of unrivalled customer support and service.

Based on industry leading Broadsoft cloud architecture, the Rustyice hosted telephony platform is recognised by our clients as one of the most reliable cloud services available.

99.999% service uptime

The platform offers 99.999% availability, and in fact it achieved 100% availability across the 12 months of 2015. Thanks to the resilient structure and key relationships with Broadsoft and other technology partners, our clients enjoy service continuity that is second to none.

Support calls answered within 5 seconds.

We like to practice what we preach, and as a telephony company, that means being at the end of the line when our customers call. Our Ayrshire based customer support team are available 24/7/365 to help you with any issues you have.

Most issues fixed in under 2 hours

We’ve been at the forefront of unified comms and telephony for over 12 years and our engineers and support staff have intimate knowledge and experience across our platform and the partner vendors we work with. This means issues are identified and rectified quickly and efficiently.

But it’s not just about the SLA

We constantly monitor both the availability and the quality of service of our hosted platform and ensure that not only do we resolve all issues against clearly defined SLAs, but we strongly believe that there’s more to customer support than complying with Service Level Agreements. We really care about offering the right service to our customers to suit their specific needs.

That means from the very outset, we take the time to understand each and every client’s unique business and communication needs. We then work with them and our network of technology partners to produce high-quality, hosted solutions that deliver genuine business value for the short-term and support business growth in the longer-term.

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Advanced management tools

System Management Tool (SMT)

A web based, real-time management interface which enables your IT administrator to easily and rapidly manage account settings and resources on-line. Dependent upon the provided system access level, you can use SMT to add new accounts and resources, edit existing account settings, allocate resources, produce reports and perform other administrative tasks. Administration can be specific to an individual user or terminal (e.g. IP phone), and general for multiple users, sites and companies.

Phone Manager

A simple, web-based interface which allows each end user to manage his or her own telephone number and associated service features. This interface is available and works the same way, regardless of what terminal (telephone) is deployed for the user to make and receive telephone calls.

 

HOW WE CAN HELP

ADVICE

Years of experience in deploying hosted telephony for hundreds of clients, across many industry sectors, enables us to add value to the relationship by advising on best practice. We provide guidance as to what works best for businesses like yours and how you can maximise the returns on your investment in cloud-based communications.

DEPLOYMENT

We focus on providing end-to-end solutions; from your connection to the public telephone network right the way through to the telephones on your employees’ desks. Our experience and expertise in VoIP is unrivalled, which enables us to seamlessly transition you to Rustyice Hosted Telephony and deliver the capabilities that you need to each and every user.

FLEXIBILITY

Where we differ from some of the larger players in the Unified Communications space is our ability and willingness to work to our customers’ needs. Our agility enables us to adapt our contract terms, our technical implementations and our SLAs to ensure they support customers’ specific needs, rather than imposing standard terms and standard functionality on them. While we can always provide advice on best practice, we’re always open to different ways of doing things if it’s of benefit to our customers.

If you’d like to know a little more, stick some detail into the form below and we will be in touch soon.

Could 4G help rural areas get online?

While the government likes to talk about broadband as a commodity, alongside water or electricity, the sad truth is that many rural areas can get little to no service. There have been many false dawns in rural broadband; so is 4G set to be the next one, or is it the real deal?

In simple terms, 4G mobile broadband is set to slowly replace the current 3G networks we have cross the UK. You’ll need a new smartphone or dongle to access it, but otherwise it should smoothly replace 3G while offering the promise of faster, more reliable mobile data transfer.

The case for 4G mobile broadband

The 4G revolution certainly has the potential to meet rural needs. Rollout should be relatively straightforward, with first-to-market EE (Orange and T-Mobile) having already brought 4G to 27 UK towns and cities since launching late in 2012.

Price shouldn’t be an issue either. Mobile network Three has announced it will not charge a premium (above its 3G charges) for 4G mobile broadband, so it will be tough for the other networks to do so once competition for customers hots up.

Then there are the speeds. EE has been quoting averages from 8-12Mb since launch, with the current potential for 40Mb max speeds. While this is a long way behind current UK fixed-line speeds over fibre (which are already 100Mb and rising), 40Mb would be more than fast enough for the majority of rural customers’ needs.

And better still, this is potentially the tip of the iceberg in terms of speed. Etislat tests last year clocked a new 4G record at more than 300Mb and while you’re not likely to get that in a windy field near you anytime soon, it shows what this fledgling technology still in the locker.

The case against

As always tends to be the case when it comes to broadband, the biggest barrier to rural 4G is money. While the mobile internet providers are always quick to get their shiny new networks up and running in London, Birmingham and Manchester, those of us living in less population dense areas know the postcode lottery all too well. The talk is always of ‘population’ coverage, not geographical, and you can be sure the 4G rollout will be no different.

Then there’s reliability. We’ve had 3G for a long time now and enjoy very high UK coverage in terms of population, but standing stock still isn’t often enough to hold a reliable signal – let alone moving around. This can make data downloads a tedious task, while streaming can be next to useless. When 3G arrived there was much talk of being able to scrap your fixed line connection – something few have gone on to risk.

This leads us nicely onto speeds. Again, while first 7Mb and then 14Mb were promised the UK average 3G mobile broadband speed has never really got higher than 1-2Mb. Independent 4G field testing isn’t averaging out at 10Mb yet, so for now the jury is very much out. However, many a rural broadband customer would happily accept a reliable 10Mb broadband package.

So yes, 4G mobile broadband has the potential to get rural areas online. But unless you have a very active council or business community getting behind your push for base stations, I wouldn’t start holding your breath just yet.

Author Bio: Matt Powell is the editor for the broadband provider comparison site Broadband Genie.

UK Satellite Broadband and Television on the same dish.

It is now possible to have one dish, or antenna as we prefer to call them, that provides satellite television as well as satellite broadband in the UK. We are the only satellite broadband service provider in the UK that is able to provide this service for our customers who can enjoy their Sky or Freesat television through the same dish as their satellite broadband service. Having entered into our partnership with SES last year, we have now began providing our customers with this uniquely packaged service enabling our satellite broadband customers to avoid the clutter of multiple dishes.

Customers who have an existing TVRO dish, can make use of these services by means of a simple upgrade. It is necessary to replace the dish with one of our solid construction dishes as shown on the left. Once the dish is replaced, we will also need to replace your TV LNB with a specialised LNB which is designed to prevent the received satellite television signals from being swamped by the transmissions from your Internet access iLNB. The image below shows the two different LNB’s positioned side by side in their multifeed clamp.

In the picture below right we can see the two different LNB’s positioned side by side in their multifeed clamp. The two LNB’s sit side by side with the larger iLNB for Internet transmission and reception secured at the focal point of reception from the Astra 23.5East orbit and the smaller quad feed filtered television LNB secured at the focal point of reception from the Astra 28.2 East orbit from which all Sky Digital and Freesat services are broadcast. This unique configuration enables our customers to enjoy both services at the same time without either service impacting the usability of the other.
Once this has been completed and the dish has been aligned using our simple to use point and play tool, the cable to the location where the satellite internet access modem will be located has been secured and the award winning Newtec Sat3Play equipment connected to the end of it has been positioned, its time to get connected.

Armed with the account credentials provided by us and allocated in accordance with your chosen subscription package, you need only use an internet browser on your PC or laptop to connect to the equipment and you’re up and running. The video belows shows the whole process in some detail and will, we hope, show you just how easily you can be connected to the net wherever you are in Western Europe.

We hope you’ll agree that our solution represents the best satellite broadband in the UK today. For customers who wish to use one dish to receive satellite TV as well as satellite broadband our Single Dish packages represent the cheapest satellite broadband in the UK.

If you’d like to find out more why not visit our website at www.apogeeinternet.co.uk or if you prefer you can give us a call free on 0800 012 1090. One of our customer service agents will be waiting to take your call and welcome you to our growing family of customers.