Upgrade Your Business Phone System

With technology’s continued evolution, it’s challenging to ensure the tools your business relies on are up to date, like your business telephone system. Is it time to upgrade your business phone system? After all, people get used to things. Upgrading a vital part of their day-to-day workflow means a time investment because you need to train them on how to use it.

Upgrade Your Business Phone System: The Benefits

Watch our new video to see the benefits from installing a 2020 VoIP system for your business.

That means not only taking time out of their day for training on a new system. But, also preparing for speed bumps along the way as your team learns how to adjust. There’s also the simple fact that new equipment costs money. It can be a substantial investment, but one that’s well worth it down the road.

A recent article published PC Mag UK compares the best business VoIP providers for 2020.

What’s important to keep in mind is that your legacy systems have hidden costs that might not be immediately obvious. Old technology is generally much more vulnerable to some sort of breach or hack. This can open you up to liability issues and a risk of taking a big hit to your credibility with customers.

Even more importantly, you might be spending a substantial amount of money maintaining, repairing, and supporting your old business telephone system.

It’s good to talk

Deciding on a phone system will be a big decision for your business. Factor in location, size, your sector and the complexity of the business integration. As well as the level of tech savviness in the workplace and the available infrastructure you’re working with. However, don’t ignore the bigger picture.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your options. With no obligation to buy and your new system could save you money.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#Phones #VoIP #UpgradeSystems #Business

Accessible tech revolution

The Coronavirus has been around for several months and has started an accessible tech revolution. Many people have changed the way they work during the Coronavirus pandemic, but for some disabled people this has brought some specific challenges.

Improvements in accessible technology has seen artificial intelligence software provide real-time, on-screen transcriptions of what someone is saying in video calls, but there are concerns that some video calling platforms and apps are not as accessible as they could be. BBC Click’s Paul Carter find out more.

The accessible tech revolution begins…

Accessible tech revolution

Business are now staying in touch with their teams and clients through video conferencing. How accessible is the technology to the disabled community? An accessible tech revolution is beginning.

What is The Social Model of Disability?

The Coronavirus crisis means that many of us are now working remotely and using videoconferencing platforms and tools. But how do we use them in an accessible way?

Drake Music have been researching and learning about accessibility in video conferencing/ online meetings/ remote music sessions. Here are some of the solutions to assist businesses with the accessible tech revolution.

PACE

A group conversation can move rapidly. This can be inaccessible to some people. In video calls there can also be an overwhelming amount of information to process (audio, visual, chat text etc). Check in with your group as to their requirements.

Some suggestions to support accessible conversations would be:

  • Assign a moderator who checks in on people’s understanding and reiterates key points at regular intervals.
  • Ask participants to speak one at a time.
  • For large groups consider controlling participants’ audio to allow them to chat to everyone, or just the host. (Note: in Zoom there is a ‘raise hand’ function to allow participants to signal that they wish to comment/ask a question.)
  • Use the chat function to record key points, giving each a title to separate key info out from general chat.
  • Record the meeting and share it afterwards to let people listen to important sections again.
  • Offer an option for people to switch off cameras.
  • Offer to record the meeting and send the video and a transcript of the chat to participants after.
  • If you/your participants are new to video-conferencing here is a useful guide to Zoom from Copronet Wales

Audio

A large meeting may be noisy and hard to follow. This will make it more inaccessible. Some suggestions to improve the experience for the end user could be:

  • Ask everyone to mute their mics when not speaking to limit extraneous noise.
  • Consider using an external mic if you are hosting a meeting, to improve sound quality.
  • Use a video conferencing system which supports Subtitles/Captioning – this can be beneficial for everyone and is especially important if you are using screen sharing and participants can’t see you while you are speaking.
    1. Skype – Automatic captions, not always 100% accurate, but helpful. Multi-videos can crash more.
    2. Zoom – Captions can be enabled, but someone has to be assigned to type them.
    3. Google Hangouts – Automatic captions/subtitles, we haven’t tested these yet.
    4. Gotomeeting – Offers transcriptions after the meeting, but possibly not live. Caption info for
    5. Teams – Microsoft’s service offers automatic captions/subtitles. We haven’t tested it yet.
  • For captions, speak clearly, slowly and into the mic. Limit background noise and try to avoid everyone speaking at the same time. Also allow for extra time to transfer captioners into breakout rooms, or to get set up at the start of an event.
  • If you are using slides consider sharing your speaker notes alongside them, so that people can read along if needed.
  • If you share videos, ensure they are captioned.
  • Headphones may be useful

Please note: Automatic captions may work reasonably well for smaller conversations and one-to-one discussions, but that for training, livestreaming or bigger group meetings it is not always the best option.

Sign Language

When hosting a remote meeting which involves sign language there are specific considerations needed in order to ensure it is accessible – e.g. turn-taking, the visibility of the speaker to the interpreter, the tiring nature of watching signing in 2D.

There is an excellent post on The Limping Chicken blog by Jo Wootton which covers this topic in depth and which we recommend reading.

Access to Work support can be used to pay for a captioning service or BSL interpreters if the video-conference is for work and that support is required to allow you to fully participate in meetings.

Stay accessible within your business

We understand the challenging times facing business at present. It is not easy to have some of your team working from home and some in the office. A company must make sure that they supply all the right equipment to all their staff. This will make sure no employee is disadvantaged when doing their job.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your concerns and/or requirements, Our experienced team will be able to advise you on the correct software, hardware and systems to assist your employees. Take advantage of our security and back up solutions. As well as the latest telecoms and video conferencing systems to enable you clients and team to stay in regular contact.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

Cyber-attacks On UK Sports Industry

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) report cyber-attacks on UK sports industry have increased. At least 70% of sporting institutions in the UK have suffered a security incident in the past 12 months.

Some of the cyber-attacks on UK sports industry are disclosed in the report Cyber threat to sports organisations. They include blocked turnstiles at stadiums after systems were taken offline by ransomware. This almost led to the cancellation of a football match. A £15,000 loss to a racecourse after a staff member fell victim to an eBay scam. It promised equipment that never materialised. Similarly, organised criminals tried to sabotage a Premier League transfer deal by hacking into emails worth £1m.

The NCSC said cyber criminals tended to use common tactics. They target the sports industry with cyber-enabled fraud and shutting down critical systems with ransomware.

Cyber-attacks On UK Sports Industry

Sports industry urged to reform cyber security after £1m Premier League phishing scam.
Greater awareness is needed by the industry as attacks increase.

Cost of the damage by cyber-attacks on UK sports industry

About 30% of the incidents reported to the NCSC caused direct financial damage to the victim. On average £10,000 per attack and the biggest single loss clocked in at £4m. Some 40% of the reported incidents involved malware and a quarter of those were ransomware attacks.

“Cyber security might not be an obvious consideration for the sports sector. Sports are slowly returning as lockdown eases. The impact of cyber criminals cashing in on this industry is real.” Said Paul Chichester, operations director at the NCSC.

Chichester added, the sports sector struggles to recover from the impact of Covid-19. Organisations could reduce their risk by paying more attention to increasing their security of attacks.

“Sport is a pillar of many of our lives. We are eagerly anticipating the return to full stadiums and a busy sporting calendar” he said. “I would urge sporting bodies to use this time to look at how they can improve security. In conclusion, acting now will help protect them and fans from the consequences of cyber-crime.”

British Olympic Association

Hugh Robertson, chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: “Improving cyber security across the sports sector is critical. The British Olympic Association sees this report as a crucial first step. It will help sports organisations to better understand the threat and highlights practical steps to improve cyber security.”

Rugby Football League

Tony Sutton, chief operating officer at the Rugby Football League, added: “The issue of cyber security is one that all sports, including rugby league, take seriously. We are growing our digital capabilities and online platforms. Protecting the governing body, members, customers and stakeholders are important and we welcome the guidance from the NCSC report.”

Make sure you are protected

Unfortunately, LIS are unable to predict when your team will win their next match. However, enjoy watching your favourite sport whatever the result.

Above all, do not make the same mistake as the sports industry. Do you have any concerns about your IT security? Then contact the LIS Help Desk and our friendly team will recommend the latest solutions to upgrade your security. However, stay safe, secure and protect your business.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#CyberCrime #Security #ITSupoort #Sports

Understanding Cloud Security

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase of employees working from home. Understanding cloud security when moving to the cloud for remote working is crucial. This sudden change means that remote access to software and data are important.

Read the latest UK Tech News article from their Editor Mark Baker.

Cloud computing provides employees with the ability to work from any location. As long as they have internet access, they can work within a virtual desktop or remote infrastructure. Some companies are reluctant to move towards remote working. However, others are following the trend in offering flexible working hours to their employees as an incentive – which can also be cost-effective. We would encourage our clients to implement cloud computing within their IT infrastructure.  It will enable them to enjoy the benefits of remote working and much more.

Understanding Cloud Security

Understanding the challenges of cloud security. Stay grounded as cloud security becomes more complicated. LIS are here to keep you protected and give you peace of mind.

Understanding Cloud Security provides flexibility

Cloud technology is what enables employees to work from any location. The main benefit is it gives them access via a virtual environment to the same information they would have in the office. Collaboration and communication tools ensure that your team can keep in touch with clients and their colleagues. This enables your staff to complete work at the same level as they would be able to from their office desktop.

Employees can access documents and data that they need by using specific credentials to maintain security. At the same time, it gives them flexibility to work from home or any other location. This can be useful when you have multiple office locations. Cloud technology provides a greater level of flexibility and shared access to information centrally accessible via a single server.

Increasing security for remote working

Do you have concerns about understanding cloud security? Cloud computing can actually work towards increasing your overall security levels as a business. Security measures can be put in place. Such as user-specific passwords and encryption of files when there are attempts to open these by unauthorised users. Additional security measures can be implemented in the event of mobile devices or laptops being lost or stolen. This helps to prevent a security breach. So, you do not need worry about cloud computing compromising high levels of security in favour of remote working capabilities.

Scalability for growing businesses – in the office and remotely

Cloud computing also enables your business to accommodate a large increase in a remote workforce. Since employees can use their own mobile devices and laptops without incurring additional hardware costs. They can also access internal information via the cloud wherever they choose to work, and on any device. As long as each user is provided with access details, employees can easily be granted access. All of the information that they need is at the touch of a button, without them ever having to visit the office. This is ideal when there is restricted physical office space and there is no restriction on the number of remote workers.

Cloud computing and the future

Cloud computing can offer a greater level of flexibility, security and scalability for any business. Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss cloud setup and maintenance services. We offer support contracts for cloud support and advice on an ongoing basis if required.

Almost everything in the digital world is connected to the cloud in some way or another — unless it is kept in local storage for security reasons. As companies find new ways to organize, process and present data. Cloud computing will become a more and more integral part of our lives.

#CloudComputing #WFH #DeviceSecurity #CyberCrime

Covid-19 accelerates digital

Covid-19 accelerates digital transformation efforts by over five years. Digital transformation in the B2B sector is being fast-tracked to address immediate needs due to the pandemic. With a majority of those surveyed (54%) saying that their customer relations were strained, developing or non-existent. 41% said that selling directly to customers online is the most significant opportunity in the next year. While another 36% wanted to provide their sales teams with the right digital sales tools.

71% of digital leaders also agreed that their company’s digital experiences do not meet their client expectations. This means that consequently, 85% of these leaders expect their digital experience budgets to increase, economic downturn notwithstanding.

Apprehensions around digitisation remain, with 61% of B2B leaders fearing that AI will replace human workers within five years. But, 82% expected AI to make them better at their job in the next two years. Read the full article about how Covid-19 accelerates digital transformation on the YouGov website.

Covid-19 Accelerates Digital Transformation-01

During the pandemic, businesses are turning a negative into a positive. They are looking to streamline their operations and how they do business.

5 reasons how Covid-19 accelerates digital efforts for businesses

1. Enhancing employee collaboration during the COVID-19 outbreak

Remote work has come, and it’s here to stay. Experts and business leaders agree that companies across the globe will keep supporting remote work even after this crisis is done.

This situation where employees are physically separated has completely changed the way our employees collaborate and work together.

The key business impact trigger will be a result of the quarantines, travel restrictions, school closures and sick family members. However, many organizations have already realized that technology can help organizations better adapt to the current changing situation.

2. Ensuring the right flow of information

In times of crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic, your internal communication should be clear, transparent, and easy to understand. What’s more, it is extremely important to be able to reach the right employees at the right time with the right message.

This is the time when employers, leaders and internal communicators should drastically improve their communication efforts.
3. Maintaining employee productivity during the crisis

Most companies have made arrangements to accommodate remote working  already at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. Indeed, their priority was to protect their employees and help reduce the spread of the virus.

Businesses are now looking for solutions to maintain employees’ productivity while working from home during the pandemic.

4. Enabling leaders for success

During these times, it is crucial that business leaders and managers demonstrate good leadership skills in order to increase business resilience and prepare for rebound and future growth.

5. Planning for business continuity

Business leaders have to plan for post-pandemic recovery already now. They need to implement the right strategy and tools now to limit damages on their business.

How can LIS help your business?

The benefits of having the right digital tools in place during a crisis such as COVID-19 are obvious and significant. As the way we do business has drastically changed in the last few months. Only the companies that adapt to these changes can succeed.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your IT support options. Office 365, email, domain names, hosting, security, anti-spam, antivirus and telecoms. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be happy to assist you.