With local lockdowns being introduced in some areas and all the talk of a potential second wave of CV-19, now might be a good time to focus on small businesses and ways to improve vital infrastructure.
At time of writing access to premises is reasonably easy, and carriers have lifted restrictions on supply. If you were planning to upgrade anything now might be a good time to do it, in case further restrictions interrupt your plans.
It is worth remembering that all the tools that have become prominent during CV-19 are available and work well on mobiles and tablets as well as laptops and PCs. While Teams and Zoom both work well on iOS and Android and applications like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp could be enough for your business, the key thing to consider is your mobile data plan. A quick tour of mobile operators shows that internet bandwidth is cheap again, especially if you can negotiate a new contract. Unlimited data is firmly back on the agenda and starts from only £27/month with EE*.
Broadband speeds continue to be a major issue for many small business customers. The good news is that the rollout of new technology has not slowed down during CV-19. Fibre rollout continues and, if your office is located near a residential area, Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) may arrive sooner than you think. FTTP offers much faster speeds and more reliable service with negligible fault rates. The next best option is Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) which is widely available and starts from only £23/ month, much faster and offers more reliable service than traditional ADSL.
When the last lockdown happened, many of our customers were caught on the back foot. One of their key problems was how to divert their business calls to an alternative location. If a second wave happens, we may all have to do this all over again. At a predictable price, our Divert and Divert Plus service solve this challenge. For those of you who want a much simpler system that will work wherever you are, it may be worth looking at our Cloud PBX Lite offer. From £7/month*, it allows full telephone system functionality on a range of devices from handsets, laptops and PCs to mobile phones and tablets, at a fraction of the price.
Extending the life of mobiles, laptops and PCs may seem like a good idea as it preserves your cash. However, the technical and performance challenges that can occur may make this a false economy, especially if your customers and suppliers are using modern tools to collaborate with you. Buying devices on a monthly plan can spread the cost of the hardware over a number of years, include technical support and an upgrade path.
The UK is the third most targeted country for phone fraud, but this area is often overlooked. A hacker uses your phone system to either provide free calls to expensive foreign destinations or to gain some form of value from calling premium-rate numbers. If this happens, you may be left with a significant bill. At Chess, we offer a fraud monitor service where we check customer call profiles and lock them down if we notice unusual activity.
Although things have settled a bit, we are still in a situation of rapid change, and it is always good to get the latest advice. The UK Government publish updates regularly on its website gov.uk/coronavirus follow the links for businesses and self-employed people.
If you need access to an expert, without the need to employ your own, speak to your account manager, contact our Sales Team or log a query through our Customer Portal as we have a range of options that can help.