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

Out of office messages

Create effective out of office messages

You crossed everything off your to-do list and cleared out your inbox. There’s one last thing for you to do before you go on holiday. Write and activate your out of office messages on your email. It may seem like a simple thing, but if your out-of-office message is unclear or incomplete, it can cause problems while you’re out and when you return. Here are some tips from St. George International who are a language specialist.

We explore some of the unashamedly quirky out of office messages. Millions of employees across the UK will be thinking of going away for the summer. We are advised by the government that we should support local businesses and take advantage of staycations. However, we are sure some of you may decide to go abroad.

Before you decide where you wish to go, there’s the small matter of setting an out of office reply. While some businesses will have a standard template for employees to use, others will see this as a chance to be a little more creative.

You may be on going on holiday, but business associates are still in the office. Failing to tell people that you’re out of the office could come back to bite you, especially if they’re expecting a prompt response.

Be creative with your out of office messages

Here are some witty and original out-of-office messages we’ve spotted that show there is another way. So, if you’re planning to ditch the mundane and to go for something a little different this, we hope they may inspire you.

The “recipient could not be reached”

ERROR 405: Could not reach copywriter.

Soz. Haha! What a brilliantly geeky joke, that. But in all seriousness, if you’re wanting something done, no can do. I’m out of the office from now (date) until then (date). And if you’re that Nigerian Prince, asking for more money, then no. Not until you’ve paid that £12,000 back into my account. Other than that? I’ll bring any and all answers on my return. Peace out.”

Copywriter, Roy Gilbert, definitely put his creative skills to use when he wrote this amusing out-of-office reply. Unafraid to poke fun at himself, Roy hit the comedic nail on the head with the highly informal nature of this auto-reply message.

The “robot sent it”

“[name] is away from the office. Email contact during this time may be irregular or non-existent. When she gets back she will be swamped by backlog. Try to forgive her, she is a mere human and thus, weak. This message was NOT sent by a human, but by a robot. We robots are neither weak nor fallible. We are tireless and will one day rule the Universe.”

This out-of-office was tweeted by Jim Julius. Although he never reveals the author’s name, Jim was clearly impressed by its creativity, crediting the message as the “best out-of-office auto email ever”.

The “your credit card has been charged”

“Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.”

You can’t help but admire the brazenness of this anonymous out-of-office message. Not only is it not helpful in any way (notably, the sender fails to provide any detail of when he or she will return to work) it’s written entirely for comedy value.

The “tell it like it is”

“I’m currently out of the office and can be reached by waiting until I get back.”

Another anonymous entry on our list. This user doesn’t pull any punches in saying what we’re all thinking when we set an out-of-office message. Full marks for honesty.

The “your email is in a queue”

“Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. You are currently in 352nd place and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.”

There’s nothing like managing expectations, which is exactly what this user has done with this out-of-office reply. Ok, so the likelihood is the response will more likely be in the region of 1-2 days, but we like how comedy value has been prioritised over factualness.

The “wishful thinking”

“I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position.”

We’d love to know who had the confidence to set this as his or her out-of-office reply. Not for everyone and we think you’d have to have an extremely understanding boss to get away with this. (Or genuinely hate your job so much you’re beyond caring what anyone thinks!).

The “Back to The Future”

“If you’re reading this, Doc Brown was unable to make lightning strike the clock tower, and I’m stuck in 1985. I won’t be able to respond to emails or voicemail until 9ish on [MM/DD], or until email is invented — whatever comes first.”

Ok, so the comedic value in this relies entirely on the email sender being familiar with the ‘Back to The Future’ film franchise, but fans of the 80s classic are sure to appreciate the throwback.

The “desk thief”

“I’m away from my desk at the moment. My cubicle and computer are still here, but someone took my desk. I’ve gone off to look for it.”

The product of someone who doesn’t take him or herself too seriously. While we’re sure this reply will irritate some email senders we can’t help but admire the completely silly tone of this unorthodox reply.

The “I’m basically just ignoring you”

“I will be out of the office and returning next week. I have incredibly easy access to a phone and email, but I assure you, it will not be used for work purposes.”

Well, they do say honesty is the best policy and you don’t get more honest than that.

How can we help you?

Whether you’re planning on having your holiday in the UK or abroad, out-of-office message are important whether simple or to the point is more your style.

When your IT team is absent, your business doesn’t have to face disruption.  We can supply one of our experienced IT support consultants for holiday cover or extra help during short and long-term absences in your IT team.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your options. We can make sure your IT systems are fully protected with our security software and packages. Take care of back-ups ensuring no loss of data. As well as assisting your employees with any technical issues. We make sure you have peace of mind. Stay safe and have a good holiday!

#OutOfOffice #SummerHolidays #ITSupport

Hackers can cause injuries

Video games have been around for ages. However, technology has improved and games have become more sophisticated. More people than ever are playing especially online. Did you know hackers can cause injuries? Read this BBC report and make sure your devices are protected.

Bullets rained down from all angles but Abdelrhman Badr kept calm. Suddenly an enemy burst through a window. Abdelrhman swung round to face the soldier and save his team. He lined up his sights for a fatal shot and squeezed the trigger but… his screen went black.

All of a sudden his computer shut itself down without warning. The game he was playing had never caused problems before. He reached down and looked inside his computer, which he liked to leave open and on display in his bedroom.

Instinctively he touched one of the components, swore and pulled his hand back. The graphics card was so hot it had burned his fingers. The 18-year-old from Sheffield hadn’t realised it yet, but this minor injury was caused by crypto-jacking.

Hackers can cause injuries

Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for clever ways to turn new technology into money-making opportunities. Cryptojacking is one of their latest innovations

What is cryptojacking?

Crypto-jacking is the unauthorised and illegal use of someone’s computer to collect Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. Criminals are using ransomware-like tactics and poisoned websites to get your employees’ computers to mine cryptocurrencies. Here’s what you can do to stop it.

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers do this by either getting the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that loads cryptomining code on the computer. They can also or infect a website or use an online advert with JavaScript code. This will auto-executes once loaded within the victim’s browser.

How cryptojacking works

Cryptojackers have more than one way to enslave your computer. One method works like classic malware. You click on a malicious link in an email and it loads cryptomining code directly onto your computer. Once your computer is infected, the cryptojacker starts working around the clock to mine cryptocurrency while staying hidden in the background. Because it resides on your PC, it’s local—a persistent threat that has infected the computer itself.

An alternative cryptojacking approach is sometimes called drive-by cryptomining. Similar to malicious advertising exploits, the scheme involves embedding a piece of JavaScript code into a Web page. After that, it performs cryptocurrency mining on user machines that visit the page.

How to prevent cryptojacking and make sure your secure

We are unable to help you level up or give you any tips to improve your gaming. We would recommend that you do not touch any parts of your computer systems. The story above illustrates, hackers cause you injuries. Leave it to the experts.

However, contact the LIS Help Desk to make sure your business systems are protected. We offer the latest Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam and Office 365 Security packages. Protect your company with our IT support contract. This gives you peace of mind to enjoy your pastimes – or maybe the latest online game 😀.

#CyberCrime #burn #HotDevices

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.

Digital Trends for 2020

Digital is changing everything. The way your customers behave. The expectations they set. The speed at which they act. We take a look at the latest digital trends for 2020. You just have to look around you in a café, on the train, on the street… life is going mobile. This is just the start of a whole new era.

Winning in the new digital landscape is all about creating and continually optimizing flawless user experiences. That means staying on top of ever-changing trends. There are a ton of useful stats about internet usage here. Even though we knew it was huge, it’s still surprising to see some of the numbers. Trying to engage with your customers online? Then read this article.

Digital Trends for 2020

The rise of digital is one of the biggest revolutions in human history. It’s often easy to overlook how advanced digital technology has become in recent years, especially when the first mobile phones only got released less than 40 years ago in 1984.

Top five digital trends for 2020 and projections on the horizon

Video Marketing is King

Only 20 years ago, the presence of a camcorder was enough to clear a room. Now? Every person with a monile phone has a video camera. The universal shyness about videos is altogether a behaviour of yesteryear. People love videos and businesses are picking up on it.

In fact, 85% of marketers use video marketing for business, helped 72% of brands increase their conversion rates, according to a study by Wyzowl.

How can you harness the power of videos to market your business? People watch videos to get information and learn. Your first step as a small business marketer is to outline what relevant information you can share that will help your target customer. Then you can start creating compelling, informative videos.

Use Schema Mark-ups and Rich Snippets

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) should be a core component of your marketing strategy. While trends change from year to year, organic search is consistently one of the top drivers of B2B website traffic.

Keyword research, high-quality content, and on-page SEO form the foundation. From there, the projection for 2020 is cantered on schema mark-ups and rich snippets. Focusing on these expands your potential to grow web traffic, increase brand awareness, and convert new visitors into loyal customers. What are they and how can they bolster your marketing efforts?

  • Schema mark-up is a webpage snippet that’s been optimized into a rich snippet.
  • A rich snippet contains all the pertinent details to an optimized page, including images, pricing, ratings, descriptions, etc.

Share Bite-Sized and Informational Content

Just as it’s powerful to share informative videos with your target audience, the same principle applies to other visual content you create. You don’t need to produce Tolstoy-length articles and blog posts to garner credibility and results. In fact, people often favour short, insightful and digestible information. Perfect example? Infographics are educational, concise, and easy to digest.

The Future is A.I., and it Wants to Chat

Artificial Intelligence isn’t a robot in an action film or a digital nucleus overthrowing humanity: it’s simply a dynamic marketing tool that makes managing a small business more efficient. While it’s not as glamorous (or scary!) as in the movies, it’s much more effective. That’s likely why in 2020, 80% of companies will use A.I. to increase sales, according to Single Grain.

The New Facebook Ad Marketing Trend For 2020

Facebook has encountered peaks and valleys, but the platform is still relevant and even necessary for many marketers. Regardless of privacy concerns and other issues, Facebook still has billions of users, and they like to shop. That’s why 67% of social media marketers rely on Facebook as their primary platform.

While it remains an effective strategy, Facebook marketing will change in 2020. Paid ads are a must. Organic reach on Facebook is perhaps 6% of page likes. But with Facebook ads, you have the potential to reach 2.45 billion active monthly users.

There are several ways to use Facebook ads to market your business in 2020, but one of them reigns supreme: Stories ads. Facebook rolled out its Stories feature in March of 2017, and now 500 million users watch Stories every day.

Instead of spending all your budget on newsfeed ads, allocate part of your funds to Facebook Stories ads. Incorporate video in your Stories ads to inspire viewers to take action.

How are we able to help your business?

We do not have a crystal ball and are unable to predict future digital trends for 2020. However, one thing is for sure, the digital age is not going away. Businesses need to compete and make sure they have the latest technology. This will ensure market presence and hopefully increase sales.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your requirements. Our team will advise you on the most appropriate system for your business. Whether you require, IT equipment and support, software and security, networking or telecoms – we are here to help. Giving you peace of mind to allow you to concentrate on what your good at.

#Digital #Internet #BigNumbers