So we blogged last month about how the onset of winter can cause no end of problems for your business. Plummeting temperatures, gridlocked roads, staff stuck at home and unable to get to work… it really is snow joke (sorry).
If you missed that post, check it out here.
It looks at how cloud computing can help you avoid all the pitfalls of snow days. We touched briefly on how telecoms fits into this and promised we’d look at it in more detail in a future blog. We always keep our promises, so here goes…
Imagine the scene…heavy snow and freezing temperatures means more than 50% of your workforce are physically unable to leave their houses. You’re working with Office 365 (like we talked about here) so it’s no problem. Or is it? What about all those phones ringing off the hook in the office while your staff are cosied up working in their onesies in front of the fire?
VoIP. That’s your answer. It stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol and that’s exactly what it does…. Your voice data travels over the internet instead of over a telephone line. Which means, that as long as your employees have the internet at home, they can make and receive calls on your main business phone line just as they would from the office.
They’ll need IP enabled handsets to plug in at home, or even simpler you can install softphone software onto their laptops and with the use of a headset they can make and receive the calls through their computers.
So, they’re sat at home, a customer rings your regular main business number and it will ring not only in the office, but also in each of the houses of the team members logged in. You can also transfer calls to and from their usual DDIs, so as far as productivity is concerned it actually makes no difference whether they’re in the office or not.
We use VoIP at Axon (of course we do) and it really is a game changer. The call quality is excellent, you can make calls to anywhere in the world and keep this one to yourself, but it’s actually more cost effective.
It’s easy to get started. A good, reliable internet connection at your office, IP-enabled telephone handsets or softphone software, oh and a good VoIP provider. We know one of those Look here.
So if you want to know a bit more, give us a call. Check out the quality while you’re at it because we’ll be answering that call on our all singing all dancing VoIP system. Sorry, I’m just showing off now… 0845 313 0025
Another meeting. Another morning out of the office. Travel time, traffic jams, delayed trains. Now it’s another afternoon out of the office as well. The day’s gone. You’re behind on your workload. What now? Working through the evening? Annoying isn’t it. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but other times it can be unnecessary because let’s be honest, not all meetings need to be face-to-face do they? Especially with the technology on offer these days. Take a look at Office 365. It’s cloud computing from Microsoft and it offers one very useful feature when it comes to meeting mayhem, and that’s Lync Online. You might have heard of it, but did you know just how useful it can be at cutting down the time you spend in meetings? Time is money, so any saving is a good one right? Let’s take a look…
Lync offers a number of features but the ones I’m particularly interested in right now are the live web conferencing, video calling and online meetings because these features give you the ability to make meetings more efficient. The meetings are multi-party so you can include up to 250 participants from inside and outside your business. The video is HD, so we’re talking top quality, and you can join meetings through your computer, tablet or smartphone – so total flexibility.
Once in the meeting, you can share your screen with fellow participants, share a file, give a PowerPoint presentation, view contact card information about other participants, conduct a poll or open a whiteboard to make notes and drawings that everyone in the meeting can use and edit together. It really is pretty slick.
Here’s Microsoft’s promotional take on Lync, and coming up in next week’s blog we’ll give you a step by step guide on how to set up a web conference. Have a look and see whether you think it could work for you. Of course you’ll still want to run some meetings face to face, but if you can cut down on just some of that meeting mayhem you’ll benefit from increased productivity and reduced costs.
And when the bad weather hits, you just might be glad of it – business as usual as the roads grind to a freezing halt.
It looks like one of the oldest ways of spreading malware is making a comeback. I have noticed in the last couple of weeks, a return of the unexpected email stating either that a postal delivery to you has failed as there was no-one at the delivery address, or an unexpected email claiming to be an invoice for goods you have purchased. I have received three such emails into a long dormant personal email account and I know of several that have been delivered to an Axon email address.
Now, I haven’t actually opened the attachment, but I can hazard a guess at what it will contain. It purports to be a label that you have to print in order to collect your undelivered parcel, or an invoice it claims is overdue. Experience tells me that when you open it, you will be directed to an innocent looking website that will allow you to print out a label of some description. What you will not realise is that during your visit to the website, your machine will be infected with malware. This will try to do one of two things – either use your machine to send out further copies of the same email, or your machine will be infected with software that will steal your online identity.
The best way to avoid this – delete any email you receive from an unknown source that has an attachment, especially if that attachment is a .zip file!
If you’ve received or worse, opened one of these attachments you should definitely think about running a virus scan or getting your IT team to take a look over your machine. Often these rogue programmes are unseen to the user, but can be causing all sorts of mayhem in the background.
If you need any help or further advice, give us a call or drop us a line… it’s better to be safe than sorry.
This time last week, we’d just received a phone call letting us know that we’d been nominated for an award. For Best Use of Technology in Business at the Silk 106.9 Local Hero Awards. And last night we won!
It was humbling to stand alongside such worthy winners as Volunteer of the Year, Carer of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Champion Child, but we were thrilled to be recognised for our recent successes and expansion along with our efforts to bring emerging technologies to local businesses. We really do have a hardworking and dedicated team and this is definitely an award for us all to be proud of.
We were nominated by the lovely ladies at Macclesfield Chamber of Commerce, so huge thanks to Sue, Jayne and the rest of the team at the Chamber.
A lovely way to end a great year for Team Axon!
If you’re finding that Office 2013 applications are crashing when opened, the most likely cause of this is COM add-ins. These may have to be disabled for the applications to load. The following add-ins are known to be problematic:
ABBYY Fine Reader
Send To Bluetooth
To resolve the problem, do the following:
1. Windows 7 – Click Start then Run
Windows 8 – Go to the start screen, right-click at the bottom then select All Apps, then Run
2. Enter the following to open the problematic applications in safe mode:
3. In safe mode click File then Options
4. In the Outlook Options box select Add-Ins from the list on the left
5. At the bottom of the page select COMM Add-ins from the Manage drop down list then click Go
6. Un-tick the add-ins listed above
7. Close the application then re-open normally
Further troubleshooting will be needed if one or more of the applications crash with add-ins disabled or the add-ins are not listed.