by Nick Ward
A trend we are seeing in 2018 is for increasing demand for solutions comprising multiple products rather than like-for-like replacements of individual products. This is because the incremental gains made by addressing multiple aspects of an organisation’s IT estate combine to create a more compelling case for change and reason to act.
In this blog, I’ll set out 4 ways in which our customers are doing this, encompassing mobile data connectivity, cloud-based firewalling, desktop collaboration and out of hours technical support.
Managing demand for high-speed data connectivity
Although the UK is awash with high-capacity core data networks, the ‘last mile’ remains a bottleneck in terms of delivery lead time and seemingly unavoidable cost for fibre installation and rental. To address these specific customer issues, we’ve come up with a workaround based on mobile data which we call 4G Direct Internet Access (DIA).
Provided that the customer’s site is within a 4G mobile coverage area, service delivery lead time is just a few days and because connectivity is provided by mobile SIMs, our contract term can be as little as a month. Whether it’s to expedite fibre installation or facilitate temporary sites, 4G DIA does the job and with our deep understanding of the mobile data market and long-established relationships with the UK’s mobile operators, our proposition is extremely compelling.
Keeping your firewalls current
It’s often the case with IT equipment that it only needs replacing when its capacity is exhausted, it has reached end-of-support or is broken and beyond economic repair. With firewalls, things are a little different.
The increased sophistication of threat vehicles and the reduced skill level required to use them have resulted in a rapid expansion in the type and frequency of attacks. Keeping firewalls patched is an ever more onerous task, particularly for organisations with multiple sites and a diverse base of devices from different vendors.
These are some of the reasons why we developed Touch Secure, our managed, cloud-based, next-generation firewall service. Based on our track record delivering managed firewall services to enterprises and the public sector, offering a similar service to corporates and SMEs based on shared infrastructure are a straightforward evolution and something you may struggle to find in other providers’ portfolios.
Are you still paying for conferencing and if so, how much?
If your answers to the above are “Yes” and “Don’t know” you’re not alone. Back in the day when conferencing was delivered using expensive dedicated telephony bridges, a pence-per-minute per participant charging model might have made sense, but with unified communications (UC) that’s no longer the case.
The facility to bridge calls is intrinsic to the SIP signalling used by UC, so bridging doesn’t depend on any special equipment, just commercial off-the-shelf servers. Conferencing is a useful and valuable tool, particularly when it combines voice with desktop sharing, so whilst it’s not free, it doesn’t consume costly resource in a way which credibly maps any more to pence-per-minute charges.
That’s why for our Touch Technology UC service we include collaboration in our standard licence charge and indeed, for one of our largest customers, the business case for migrating to Touch Technology was founded on no longer paying for UK and international conferencing services!
Expanding your customer support to out of hours
Many organisations reach a stage in their development in which the next step is to increase the scope of their customer support to out of hours. Making this step raises the question about how to resource out of hours support. Whilst some support staff may be happy to move to a shift rota, it’s not for everyone and there are extra costs to be borne that may wipe out the business case for any expansion.
An alternative is to use a white-label managed service desk, which is something we’ve been providing for over 10 years to our UK and international customers. Each service is bespoke, based on the required service level (i.e. the percentage of calls answered within a specified ring-time) and forecast call volume, which can range from just a few calls per night that can be handled by our existing resource, through to high volumes which involve our recruiting resource.
Once the service in place, we often find that customers decide to use their service to supplement their support during peak periods (when call volumes are higher) or during holiday seasons (when in-house staff are on leave).
Either way, managed service desk delivers a means of improving customer experience, whilst avoiding all the costs of doing so using an in-house resource.
Bringing it all together
It may be that just one of the above could work for your organisation or as we are finding increasingly, a solution which delivers multiple efficiencies and cost avoidance would be even better. For more information about how our technology solutions, get in touch here or call us on 0330 332 7933.