Case Study: Vyrnwy Caravans

oswestry-telecoms-vyrnwy-caravan

Key facts

  • Telecoms infrastructure for brand new office building
  • Overhaul of existing phone system and equipment
  • Hosted IP telephony installed
  • Point-to-point wireless broadband link between sites

 

Vyrnwy Caravans

Vyrnwy Caravans is a family-owned caravan park, established for over 50 years. It nestles on the banks of the River Vyrnwy in Llansantffraid, Powys, and offers all the services you would expect from a high-quality caravan park. Set in 45 acres, the park provides an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The challenge

Vyrnwy Caravans had opened an additional office building on the caravan park and needed the capability to use their existing broadband and telephones but had no way to get the physical connection from the main office to the new site. The requirement was for Ocean Telecom to provide a stable communications solution for both sites, which were located approximately 10 metres apart.

The solution

Ocean Telecom has been working with Vyrnwy Caravan for over 15 years, supplying mobile phones, landlines, broadband and email hosting. As Shropshire’s leading provider of specialist communications solutions, Ocean Telecom recommended installing a hosted IP telephony solution with point-to-point (PtP) link to cover the distance between the two sites, using the existing HQ internet connection.

The product

Point-to-Point

The Ubiquiti nano beam is a wireless network solution that can provide point to point wireless network and internet connections between multiple sites. The equipment Ocean Telecom used can provide point to point connections from up to 25 km away without any drop-in bandwidth. The installation is simple and straight forward and is a very cost-effective solution.

point-to-point_wifi_ocean_telecom_wireless_connection

Benefits of Point-to-Point:

  • Intuitive network and device management
  • Ease of deployment
  • Price/performance value
  • Reliable office Wi-Fi

With a robust broadband solution in place, the hosted IP telephony was installed.

Hosted IP

A cloud-based telephony system which is fast replacing traditional landlines, hosted IP provides excellent reliability and flexibility – offering more features while reducing costs. Hosted IP (or VOIP) delivers a managed system direct to any location via a high-speed IP connection. The feature-rich system works to offer any size business the flexibility and scalability for future growth.

Benefits of Hosted IP:

  • Free local and national calls
  • Free standard calls to UK mobiles*
  • Better business continuity
  • Economies of scale by using a single internet connection
  • Work from any location with a single phone number

 

According to Claire Edwards of Vyrnwy Caravans: “We rely on our broadband and telecoms to provide an efficient service for our guests. Ocean’s approach in proactively supporting our telecoms over the years meant we could trust them to come up with the best solution for us. Their can-do attitude and ability to consistently meet our needs and suggest better ways for us to work helps us to meet our business objectives. The addition of hosted IP telephony will make it easy for us to grow by adding additional handsets in the future. We appreciate the single point of contact for our telephone and broadband and we know support is just a call away if we need it.”

Ocean’s approach

  • Unified communications package
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Telephone and on-site support
  • Permanent, cost effective solution
  • Delivery and set-up on site
  • Proactive support

Record numbers of hosted phone systems sold this year

Ocean Telecom MD Jeremy Rose

Ocean Telecom, one of Shropshire’s biggest business to business telecoms specialists reported record numbers of sales of cloud phone systems.

The company, based on Mile Oak Industrial Estate in Oswestry, says that hosted ‘cloud phones’ are the fastest growing telecoms system in the UK. Cloud phones rely on the internet to carry calls from user to user and have seen huge popularity in the UK recently thanks to cost savings and additional functionality not offered by standard landline phone systems.

“We have seen huge growth in this sector in the last 18 months and we don’t expect it to stop any time soon,” says managing director Jeremy Rose.

“We anticipated the switch from analogue to cloud phones some years ago and began preparing for it then; employing specialist technicians and increasing the knowledge of our team on cloud hosting and VoIP technology.

“What’s so popular about our system is that other than handsets, there is no additional equipment required and users can manage their own account on a web portal.”

Seven out of 10 of Ocean Telecom’s biggest customers have now made the move to VoIP technology, that equates to over 30% of their total customer base now making all their business calls through the cloud. Jeremy expects those numbers to double in the next 18 months as businesses learn more about the benefits of making the change.

“Cloud phone systems are the latest in communications technology. What our customers like about it is the ease of scalability. Extra handsets can be added any time, and all have a fixed cost meaning calls to local, national and mobiles are free. Features such as call recording and auto attendant are also included.

The flexibility of the system is also very attractive. Because the whole system is hosted in the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. So remote workers can work from home as if they are based in the office and in the event of a disaster calls can still be taken from anywhere with an internet connection.”

One business to benefit from a cloud phone system is Traditional Products, based in Oswestry.

Proprietor Jean Watson said: “We heard about Ocean Telecom from a recommendation by another business, so we were happy to engage their services to improve our telecoms.

“As a growing business, it’s essential that we have a telecoms system that supports our growth over time and is scalable. The hosted IP system gives us that flexibility and saving money every month on our calls and broadband is a bonus too.”

Case Study: Traditional Products

Traditional Products Telecoms Case Study

Key facts

    • Telecoms restructured
    • Overhaul of existing phone system and new equipment supplied
    • Hosted IP telephony expanded
    • Broadband

 

Traditional Products

Traditional Products is a family run business that has been manufacturing timber staircase components since 1984.

Based in Oswestry, Shropshire, the firm combines modern, hi-tech wood working machinery, together with traditional hand working to achieve a quality finish. Traditional Products has established a reputation for traditional quality, traditional service and traditional value.

Today’s homebuilders and contractors are returning to solid quality and traditional design for interiors in British homes. The traditionally turned stair parts provides the bespoke appearance so desirable in today’s marketplace, while modern production methods produce unrivalled quality and price.

The challenge

Traditional Products was relocating a team from their Midlands office to their head office in Oswestry, Shropshire. They wanted to retain the same phone number, which with their traditional system would not be possible. They were also concerned they could be paying too much for their phone lines with their current provider.

The firm wanted to maintain effective channels of telephone communication with suppliers, customers and other staff. The challenge was to unify the call handling system to allow the organisation’s resources to be used more efficiently, deliver a better service to callers and reduce expenditure on telephone lines.

The solution

As Shropshire’s leading provider of specialist communications solutions Ocean Telecom performed a full bill review and discovered savings could be made on their existing telecoms and broadband bills. Ocean recommended installing a hosted IP telephony solution which would save the firm money on their monthly bill and give the ability to keep the Midlands telephone number. Merging all of the firm’s telecoms and broadband onto one bill gives clarity and transparency of costs. In addition, the firm now benefit from Ocean Telcom’s excellent customer service, having a dedicated local account manager and telephone or onsite support when needed.

Benefits of Hosted IP

    • No capital outlay = improved cash flow
    • Free calls
    • Scale up quickly as you grow
    • Re-route calls in the event of a disaster to ensure business continuity
    • Total control over your telecoms – use a portal to manage your service
    • Location independence – work from anywhere with one phone number

 

According to Jean Watson, proprietor at Traditional Products: “We heard about Ocean Telecom from a recommendation by another business, so we were happy to engage their services to improve our telecoms.

“As a growing business, it’s essential that we have a telecoms system that supports our growth over time and is scalable. The hosted IP system gives us that flexibility and saving money every month on our calls and broadband is a bonus too.”

Ocean’s approach

      • Unified communications package
      • Dedicated account manager
      • Telephone and on-site support
      • Permanent, scalable, cost effective solution
      • Set-up on site
      • Proactive support

If you think hosted IP is the way forward for your business, get in touch with us today.

 

New appointments at Ocean Telecom

ocean-telecom-it-support-Shropshire-oswestry

Leading Shropshire telecoms and IT firm Ocean Telecom has expanded its team and welcomed two new faces to support its plans for growth in IT support and networking services.

David Jones and Ryan Griffiths have joined the team at their Oswestry office to bolster its managed IT network and support services. The pair have been supporting the IT of local businesses for the last two years in their previous role at another local firm.

IT services manager David, who lives in Oswestry has over 15 years’ experience in telecoms and IT networking, including with BT, Virgin Media and IBM. He is joined by Ryan from Ruabon, who takes on the role of IT networks and systems engineer after four years working in IT.

Ocean Telecom managing director, Jeremy Rose said: “These new appointments are an integral part of the business as we prepare to take on more IT work than ever before.

“David and Ryan bring a wealth of industry experience and will work closely together as we look to grow our market share of IT support in Shropshire and Wales.”

David said he was impressed with Ocean’s existing team and client base.  “I’m delighted to join Ocean Telecom. They’ve got a strong reputation for their knowledge and customer service and I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen here so far. I look forward to expanding the IT business without compromising on the high level of customer service Ocean Telecom’s customers expect.”

Ocean Telecom, who are based on Mile Oak Industrial Estate in Oswestry have been supporting local businesses with mobile, telephone, IT support, email and web hosting for over 20 years.

As the relationship between IT and telecoms continues to strengthen, with the rise in popularity of hosted IP technology, the firm is replacing more and more traditional landlines with hosted IP solutions.

To find out more about the IT networking and support services offered by Ocean Telecom, call 01691 661177 or visit www.oceantele.com.

Ocean Telecom scoops top award

ocean_telecom_award_winner

An independent business telecoms provider from Oswestry has won a prestigious industry award from one of its suppliers.

Ocean Telecom, based on Mile Oak Industrial Estate, was awarded with the Best Premium Partner Performance on EE at Mainline’s Annual Partner Conference on 7 March 2019.

As a Premium Partner since 2010, the team at Ocean Telecom has grown from strength to strength, serving local businesses with the best mobile telecoms solutions, brilliant technical support and excellent customer service. Its longstanding relationship with airtime distributor Mainline Digital Communications has been built on trust, reliability and hard work and the prestigious award recognises the outstanding contribution that the team has delivered.

“Ocean Telecom fully deserves its best premium performance award on EE,” said Gail Eddery, head of sales and marketing at Mainline. “This award is a testament to the expertise, hard work and strong partnership Ocean Telecom has built with Mainline and EE over the last few years. We are thrilled to award it to Jeremy and the team.”

Jeremy Rose, managing director at Ocean Telecom said: “We are delighted to have won the award in recognition of the hard work the team here put in every day.

“Our partnership with Mainline and EE has enabled the team to deliver great mobile solutions for our customers and continue to put Ocean Telecom at the forefront of telecoms provision in the Shropshire, Wrexham and Powys area.”

Ocean Telecom is one of the region’s leading telecoms providers, supporting businesses with mobile, broadband, landline, email and hosting.

To find out more, visit www.oceantele.com or call 01691 661166.

Ocean team scale three of UK’s highest peaks in 24 hours for charity

Three adventurous men from Ocean Telecom have raised over £3500 by scaling the UK’s three highest mountains in under 24 hours.

Jeremy Rose, Sean Bolas and Robin Talbot who all work together at the telecoms firm on Maesbury Road Industrial Estate took on the Three Peaks challenge on Friday 8 June, for The Movement Centre charity in Oswestry.

They were joined by colleagues Darren Lavender and Simon Calloway who volunteered to drive the long miles between each mountain.

The dynamic team spent the months leading up to the challenge fundraising around the industrial estate to reach the total and money continues to come in from supporters.

Speaking after completing the challenge, Jeremy Rose said: “We started at 8am on Friday morning at Ben Nevis, the weather was warm and sunny and we managed to get up and down in four hours 40 minutes. There was even some snow at the top to cool us down.  After, we headed straight to Scafell Pike in the Lake District, but hit bad traffic and lost 30 minutes of our time.

“We started climbing Scafell Pike, the weather was good and the traditional mist and rain of the Lake District didn’t show up. We had to really push ourselves to climb this due to the loss of time and instead of our scheduled time of four hours to get up and down we managed to do it in three hours 20 minutes by climbing as fast as we could.

“We then drove through the night to Snowdon, however with the M6 closed, we were diverted losing 40 minutes of time. Arriving at Snowdon the adrenaline kicked in and we managed to get up and down in three hours 50 minutes, completing the challenge in a very respectable 22 hours 50 minutes.

“My favourite mountain was definitely Scafell Pike, it was the toughest but the most satisfying to conquer in such a short time. As well as being a fantastic team building exercise, we’re all really pleased to have raised so much money for The Movement Centre.”

Victoria Handbury-Madin, head of fundraising and marketing at The Movement Centre said: “Completing the Three Peaks Challenge is a fantastic achievement, one that the team from Ocean Telecom took on with amazing enthusiasm. The Movement Centre are delighted to be Ocean Telecom’s Charity Partner and we are extremely grateful for their fantastic support. As a charity, we rely on the kind support of donors and fundraisers, which is why the funds raised through the challenge will make such a difference to our work with children with movement disabilities.”

Jeremy ends: “We are absolutely thrilled not only to have completed the challenge as a team, but that our loyal customers supported us so generously. The Movement Centre is a very worthy cause and we are delighted we could help fundraise for them.”

To donate to the fundraising effort, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jeremy-rose3

The basics about security and anti-virus software

Security and anti-virus software has an essential role. This is to protect your company’s servers and computers. It detects, blocks and removes viruses, spyware and malware (malicious software including ransomware) before it can do lasting damage.

What does security and anti-virus software do?

Security software aids your company computers and keeps your network secure. This is done by examining files and data for anything that looks suspicious. Security packages will:

  • Monitor files
    As soon as files are opened, the software analyses the file to ensure they haven’t been infected by a known virus or piece of malware.
  • Monitor your computer’s network and internet connection
    This is in case malicious software or hackers are trying to connect to your system.
  • Check files as they enter your network
    This is usually by scanning email attachments and downloaded files.
  • Periodically scanning
    This includes all the data on your computer, in case any undetected malware is lurking there.

Do I need security software for my Mac?

Apple Macs have been known for suffering from fewer security problems than Windows computers. However, Apple’s market share has grown and so has the number of threats. In addition, it’s always best to run security software on your Mac.

Security and anti-virus software reduces the risk of unsuspectingly passing viruses. Whether it’s onto colleagues or contacts that have Windows computers.

Viruses and malware can spread via infected websites, emails and files sent to your business. The software identifies these threats by comparing files on your computer to the electronic ‘signatures’ of known viruses.

Although security software can reduce the chance of your business suffering a virus infection, it’s not watertight. Most packages only protect reliably against known threats. It can take more than just security and anti-virus software to stay safe.

It won’t stop physical threats like:

Thieves stealing your server,

A dishonest employee stealing your company database,

A fire damaging your IT equipment.

You need a robust security plan, IT policies, good staff training and a backup system to guard against data loss and theft.

Types of security software

There are many security and anti-virus packages around. Most offer similar core protection:

  • Virus and malware protection
  • A firewall
  • Email protection

It’s easier to get a package offering all these functions in one. There are two main types of software:

Standalone security software

This must be installed and managed on each individual computer. It’s good for companies with up to five computers. It’s most of all managed on an individual basis. The only problem is that it can give your staff more freedom to disable protection or updates. Therefore can leave your business at greater risk of infection.

Centralised security software

These packages give you a central control panel to manage the protection of all your computers. Setting up a centralised package requires expertise. It works out cheaper and more effective for businesses with more than five computers.

Every computer and server in your business should be protected by security software. Furthermore, you should consider installing it on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. This is if they hold critical data.

Choosing anti-virus and security software

Security and virus protection is so critical, it’s important you choose software from a reputable company. A good IT supplier will be able to advise on the best option for your business. There are a few decent free packages available, however, there may be light on features or only really suitable for home use.

Updates

Once you’ve set up your security software, you must keep it up to date. New threats emerge daily, so the software should check for updated signatures at least once a day. After the first year or two, you’ll probably have to pay a monthly or annual fee to receive updates. Do not be tempted to cancel the subscription, as a result, will leave you vulnerable to new threats – which are evolving all the time.

Call us today to find out more information on security and anti-virus software available for your business on 01691 661166 or read more:

IT networking & support

Which is best for your business In-house or outsourced IT support?

In-house or outsourced IT support can be hard to choose which is right for your business. Both options have their advantages, but you need to be certain before you make a decision.

In-house IT support

The Benefits

Developing an IT helpdesk in-house has its benefits. With the right background and continued training, your support team can build up in-depth, specialised knowledge of your company’s particular IT set up and systems. An in-house team can be a benefit if you have implemented specialised systems that can’t be found elsewhere. This brings comprehensive knowledge of the system within the business. Your IT support team will also be available to solve problems quickly and efficiently on site.

Disadvantages

IT support training costs money. To stay current in the ever-changing world of technology your staff will need to undergo constant training and possibly have examinations. You have to pay a regular salary to your IT support staff. Figure on at least £28,000 a year each (more in London). Experienced IT managers will expect to earn much more.

It can be tricky providing holiday and sickness cover, too. What happens if one member of your two-person IT support team is on holiday, and the other is sick? You may also need an on-call rota, to deal with problems out of hours. Really you shouldn’t just rely on one or two people to run your in-house support. Even the most experienced IT engineer will lack expertise in some areas. In-house or outsourced IT support can be hard to choose you need one that covers all the bases.

Outsourced IT support

The Benefits

Outsourced IT support is more cost-effective than creating an in-house helpdesk. An internal helpdesk requires at least two salaried staff members – and maybe more, depending on your company’s size.

Outsourced IT support can be priced in different ways, but as a rough guide you can expect to pay anything between £15 per user per month and £350 a month to provide outsourced IT support to up to ten users depending on the location and level of support required. This price would include management of your company server (if you have one on-site), plus all your desktop computers, laptops, tablets and possibly even company smartphones. Many businesses find that outsourced IT support is clearly the better option.

Outsourced IT support gives you access to a larger scope of expertise. If you choose a good IT support company, they’ll have staff with experience and qualifications in a whole range of areas.  Outsourced IT support company should always be able to find someone to help, no matter what your requirements. There are other good reasons to choose outsourced IT support. It frees up time for people in your business to focus on the day-to-day running and growth.

Disadvantages

There are a lot of advantages however, there are still a few disadvantages to outsourcing your technical support. Before you make your final decision, it’s important to understand the following disadvantages.

There is potential for hiring the wrong technical support company. If you hire a company not capable of living up to the promises made or a company overseas, you may run into issues. Some companies will advertise services and even accept projects in areas they simply don’t have much experience in. Less Control as well, so you won’t be overseeing the support on a day-to-day basis.

There are a few disadvantages to outsourcing technical support. However, you can avoid these disadvantages by working with companies providing only UK call centres with experience in your area. In-house or outsourced IT support both have their advantages and disadvantages it all comes down to your business.

Technical support can be quite a tricky job. You need to provide support to your clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This means you either spend a ton of money staffing a call centre or you outsource the support to a third party. You need to figure out which is best for your business In-house or outsourced IT support? Call or drop in today to find out more about our IT networking & support.

Business broadband and dedicated leased line

Broadband comes in lots of different ways, from ADSL and FTTC to full fibre. A popular one is the leased line. If your business needs ultra-reliable, high bandwidth internet it’s the best option for you.

What is a leased line?

A leased line is a dedicated connection to the internet. You don’t share it with anyone else, so you never have to fight for bandwidth with your neighbours. Speeds on leased lines can range from 10Mbps all the way up to 1Gbps and beyond. Suppliers like Ocean give you the flexibility to increase bandwidth as and when you need it.

What are the benefits of leased lines?

With normal broadband, speeds can vary as other users go online. Crowding can slow down the speed of your internet traffic, especially if you are trying to move large amounts of data or host a large and busy website. Leased lines don’t have this issue and can be very fast. You can also have faster upload speeds as well if you are uploaded data.

A major benefit as well is that the leased lines are symmetric. That means that the upload speed matches the download speed. The speed at which you can transmit data matches the speed at which you can receive it.

What would I use a leased line for?

Not only are leased lines fast, they’re also stable. They are a great solution if you:

  • Host a website,
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN),
  • Carry phone calls
  • Need to connect different corporate sites together,
  • Employ remote workers who need to connect regularly to your company network.

Do I need a leased line?

This depends on how critical a stable and reliable internet connection is to your business, and how heavy your internet use is. If your business depends on the internet for high bandwidth activities, it is certainly worth considering. Leased lines tend to offer far more in the way of performance and availability guarantees than standard business broadband.

A dedicated leased line provides a private fixed bandwidth point-to-point data connection. It’s used to connect offices to the Internet, and to link offices to other offices. And it’s perfect for business use. Leased lines are exclusively for your company’s use. The bandwidth is reserved solely for you, at all times.

Many business applications need substantial amounts of data to be sent upstream, and a leased line ensures there’s far more upstream bandwidth available than there would be if you had a standard ADSL connection.

CASE STUDY: Beaumont Financial Planners

IT support_business_ mobiles_broadband_Shropshire

Key Facts

  • IT infrastructure for a brand-new office building
  • Overhaul of existing IT system and equipment
  • Mobiles, broadband and hosted IP

Beaumont

Beaumont Financial Planners is a firm of independent financial advisers based in Oswestry. They have been providing financial planning solutions for their clients for over 15 years. Their team consist of qualified financial planners backed by a professional team of support staff.

From their Oswestry base, they cover the whole of Shropshire, Cheshire, North Wales and the Midlands, offering services such as cash flow modelling, pensions, savings and investments and estate planning.

Beaumont aim to be the number one choice for independent financial advice across all services. They pride themselves in investing client funds with integrity, honesty and professionalism to maximise long term returns in the most tax efficient manner while delivering exceptional client service every step of the way.

The Challenge

Beaumont has experienced a period of expansion as a result of organic growth and was in the process of acquiring additional office space to accommodate the growing operation. To ensure a smooth transition and ongoing collaborative working between the office locations, the company wanted an IT system that would connect the two sites for secure file sharing and to expand their current hosted IP telecoms system to increase efficiency and control costs.

The company also wanted an ongoing IT support package which could deliver instant support for any staff member when and where they need it.

The Solution

Ocean Telecom has been working with Beaumont since 2013, supplying mobile phones, landlines, broadband and hosted IP. As Shropshire’s leading provider of specialist communications solutions, Ocean Telecom recommended expanding the current hosted IP provision with additional handsets, proving their ease of scalability. Additional benefits of hosted IP include:

  • Free local and national calls
  • Free standard calls to UK mobiles*
  • Better business continuity
  • Economies of scale by using a single internet connection
  • Work from anywhere with a single phone number

Ocean Telecom was approached to provide the IT networking for Beaumont’s offices – which, alongside the existing telecoms provision – would provide a totally unified communications package.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) was installed which would allow a secure connection between sites. Powerful PCs with integrated Office 365, 30 exchange email accounts and premium business security were supplied.

Following the installation of the network and PCs at the new site, Ocean performed a health check on the original office building equipment and discovered the main server hard drives were performing very poorly and a temporary fix was applied while new equipment was ordered.

The final part of the project was to provide the highest level of ongoing IT managed services both remotely and with onsite support included.

According to Mark Evans of Beaumont Financial Planners: “Our IT and communications systems are vital in providing a first-class service to our clients. Ocean’s approach in proactively supporting our telecoms over the years has allowed us to seamlessly expand the team without interruption to our services. Their enthusiastic approach impressed us from the start, consistently and promptly meeting our needs, suggesting better ways of working and in turn helping us to achieve our business objectives. The addition of IT support has been a big boost and having a single point of contact for all our IT and communications has already proved valuable.”

Ocean’s Approach

  • Unified communications package
  • Cost effective
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Telephone and on-site support
  • Delivery and set-up on site
  • Proactive support