Here we are in 2019 , and the reality and opportunity of VoIP , internet based telephony is just dawning on some businesses – but why only now ?

Most people in their thirties , “twenty something’s” , teenagers and younger don’t know how to use a rotary phone or in some cases that phones without push buttons on touch pads ever existed

 

More than 40% of international telephone calls are made via Skype

 

WhatsApp dominates the international mobile-to-mobile calling market and is the App of choice for sending high resolution photographs and “selfies”

 

“Facetiming” someone is now as natural for a lot of people as make a telephone call

 

Nearly all NEW business telecommunications equipment and software sales depend on an IP-based infrastructure. EG VoIP , hosted , cloud … call it whatever you like … it all uses the internet

 

The answer is that a lot of business has for far too long been hung up on the concept that internet based telephony is a low quality , low priced , “ consumer” service …. Not true …

 

The fact that BT Openreach are ending the staple business telephone lines ( ISDN2e ) in 2025 supports the argument that legacy telecoms is now more

 

Don’t let your business be left behind

 

If you use the Horizon or CallSwitch mobile apps on your Apple smartphone and are on the EE mobile network you may experience problems with connecting calls whilst using a mobile data  ( as opposed to a wireless Wi-Fi ) connection.

 

The reason for this is that EE have changed their mobile data to work with IPv6 by default (as opposed to IPv4) and some changes within IOS 12 ( in particular ) are stopping the Horizon and CallSwitch mobile apps working correctly

 

The work around potentially is to set the mobile network APN to IPv4 by default but we have yet to find a way to do this on an Apple device.

 

The network providers are working on a solution

 

 

Phoenix Link Announces Partnership with PromptVoice

Phoenix Link is proud to announce that it is working alongside PromptVoice, the leading telephony voice prompt company. Phoenix Link has provided professional cloud based telecom solutions to businesses in the South East since 2002. Their portfolio includes outstanding VoIP hosted cloud telephone systems, fast internet access and networking, audio and web conferencing and inbound numbers.

PromptVoice specialises in providing telephony companies with professional, high-quality voice prompts and on-hold messaging and is trusted by some of the biggest telephony brands in the UK — including O2, Vodafone, and British Telecom (BT).

 

First Impression

PromptVoice believes that high-calibre voice prompts are a crucial component of telephony systems that seek to reflect positively on a company’s brand. As Anthony Buxton, CEO of PromptVoice, puts it: “A telephony service provider selling their solution without professional prompt recordings is like a car manufacturer selling their cars without paint…technically brilliant, but a disappointing first impression.”

“Our partnership with Phoenix Link is evidence of the need for telephony service providers to offer a full range of voice prompts in an increasingly demanding market.”

The build-up to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) was huge, with business inboxes from Land’s End to John O’Groats flooded with re-consent forms. Conferences and information sessions were attended, but even today businesses are unsure of their responsibilities.

Despite it being early days, there are clearly some elements of the GDPR which have been over-hyped …….

Gaining re-consent

In the months leading up to May 2018, inboxes were inundated with emails asking customers and clients to provide their consent for ongoing marketing communications. It turns out that none of this was strictly necessary.

Toni Vitale, the head of regulation, data and information at the law firm Winckworth Sherwood, comments that many of those requests were “needless paperwork”.

Businesses are not required to automatically ‘repaper’ or refresh all existing 1998 Act consents in preparation for the GDPR,” Vitale said. “The first question to ask is: which of the six legal grounds under the GDPR should you rely on to process personal data? Consent is only one ground. The others are contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public interest and legitimate interests.

“Even if you are relying on consent, that still does not mean you have to ask for consent again. Recital 171 of the GDPR makes clear you can continue to rely on any existing consent that was given in line with the GDPR requirements, and there’s no need to seek fresh consent. Just make sure that your consent met the GDPR standard and that consents are properly documented.”

So for the telecommunication service provider industry contract , vital interests , legal obligation and legitimate interests all come into play when dealing with existing and prospective clients.

Being cynical, the only thing sending out re-consent forms achieved was to give an opportunity for clients who had previously been happy to receive marketing information the opportunity to decline consent.

The fear of external hackers causing data breaches

Although according to data from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), four out of five data breaches are caused by internal negligence or a lack of adequate safeguarding policies and procedures ; the instances of external hacks ( e.g. British Airways September 2018 or the 2017 Malware attack on the NHS ) are he ones that grab headlines . Take the case of Morrison’s Supermarket, which last year was ordered to pay compensation to thousands of employees after the payroll details of 100,000 employees were leaked online. The cause of the leak? A disgruntled employee.

The statistics given by the ICO confirm that businesses need to focus their attention on securing internal systems, as well as ensuring GDPR compliance and directing their IT teams accordingly.

So what ?

GDPR absolutely SHOULD be taken seriously. However, as long as you completed your IT mapping so you know where all the personal data you hold is kept, have updated third-party data processing contracts, and send marketing materials ONLY to those who have a ‘legitimate interest’ in what you are providing, your organisation can carry on as normal.

No Decision = No Need. Make your life easier by selling to people that already realise they have a pressing need. Re-purpose your marketing to find people with their hands up. Just make sure you identify what there is need is and don’t just try and sell them what you have. Demonstrations are a great way of making potential clients realise they have a need.

Hosted or Cloud telephony is a version of VoIP ( Voice over Internet Protocol ) , or put simply telephone calls over an internet connection.

Hosted or cloud telephony utilises business grade telephone system hardware that resides in a data centre with business grade internet access ,rather than at your business premises , and connects to the telephone handsets in your office over an internet connection ; for example your business broadband.

The benefit of this over traditional IP handsets ( or indeed digital or analogue handsets ) connected to an “on premise” telephone system ( perhaps a Panasonic , Toshiba , Avaya , Samsung or similar ) is that the hosted telephone system hardware doesn’t “care” where the handsets are located as long as they have a suitable internet connection . So suddenly you are not geographically limited by your business telephone system ; you can locate your telephone handsets anywhere …. and you can move them at will …. just so long as the telephone handset has internet access.

You also benefit from not having to upgrade firmware or licences on your telephone system ( as it gets older ) as this is generally included as part of your handset feature subscription fee and even very small companies can enjoy the telephone system feature benefits that would have previously been too expensive to deploy … such as call queuing , auto attendant , voicemail to email , call logging , call recording and the like .

Most telephone calls are often included within the telephone handset feature subscription charge therefore making the cost of hosted or cloud telephony very predictable.

Well in the end the answer has to be yes VoIP will eventually take over from traditional analogue and digital telephone lines as the trunk access for calls. So if the time is right for your business a move to VoIP is a good thing.

Today all businesses are data hungry. Be it to better understand their customers, streamline their operations or improve decision-making. Its predicted that 50% of businesses will adopt a cloud strategy for their data in 2018. Businesses are gathering, storing and relying on data more than ever before, so finding ways to control the cost and to achieve greater flexibility are becoming more of a priority for them. As a trusted supplier we aim to be ensuring our clients are keeping up-to-date with emerging IT trends and providing best-in-class data service packages, allowing customers to access their data whenever they need it.

Do you need additional London telephone numbers ?

The London numbering range went through a sequence of changes in the 1990s , culminating with the ‘Big Number Change’ which saw the current 020x codes become active on the 1st June 1999.  Nearly 20 years on and the 0207 numbers are no longer available as a new number except in some special cases and the 0203 range is now approaching exhaustion.

Ofcom will take action to ensure we can continue to meet demand for telephone numbers in the London area, that action means:

  1. Phoenix Link will be unable to make 0203 ranges generally available once it’s current 0203 ranges are exhausted.
  2. Phoenix Link will meet demand for London with 0208 ranges in the short-term, Ofcom still have some capacity with this range.
  3. Ofcom will release a new London range to all Service Providers in the near future

In summary, Phoenix Link are running low on 0203 numbers and general availability of them will disappear, save for specialist use.  Please note this does not affect the porting in of active London ranges from other providers.

If you need any further information just contact us to discuss

Do you need a mobile data SIM that will roam across networks to get the best signal ?

 

We can supply multi network mobile broadband SIMs that can also be used with over 75 different networks in the following countries: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands (Tenerife, Lanzarote and Las Palmas), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (including Madeira), Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (including Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza), Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Vatican City.

 

Prices start from just £9.99 + vat per month

 

For more informationemail ask@telephoneskent.com or call 01227200625