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Smart Buildings & IOT

Ayo Smart Building Technology

With the surge of demand for increases in efficiencies by developers and businesses themselves, carbon emission reductions, and wholly-unified workplaces, commercial buildings are fast-becoming more intelligent. Rather than just delivering technology to individuals/contents within a building, Smart Buildings have this technology embedded into their fabric. Developers and construction firms are fast becoming aware of this new state of affairs, and most are now implementing preparation for such technologies into their build specifications. The main four derived drivers of Smart Buildings include Technology, Integration, Flexibility and Longevity (Chinnelli, 2020).

The huge rise in Smart Buildings and Smart Technology implementation is driven by a variety of factors – these could be categorised by economic, technological, and energy efficiencies. For example, energy consumption of the building itself – with HVAC systems, heating, lighting and power usage is monitored and automated autonomously, ultimately helping to reduce both the carbon consumption of the building, cost of electricity and heating.

Ayo Smart Building

Each coloured dot can be matched with a use-case in the example environment above

Voice & Data



Building Mgt (BMS) ◉




Backbone/Supporting Infrastructure

A large driving factor of Smart Buildings of course comes down to rapid acceleration of new technologies – notably data cable. From the 1990’s data cable was used merely for data/connectivity transfer at rates of no more than 10mbps – we’re now at a point in time where data cables can achieve 1,000 x this speed, 15-20 X frequencies, and even power devices at the other end with the same cable. In the last 5 years, authorities have passed much higher powers (W/Watts) of data cable, opening the door for an even greater range of technology it can power. Thus, the evolution of the data cable, in terms of network capabilities and also improvements in power capabilities, has bridged a lot of the gaps that would have made today’s ‘Smart Building’ look an impossibility even 10 years ago.

As you may know, our Hosted Telecoms solutions can be powered by the network cable which serves them. Through use of PoE (Power Over Ethernet) fibre cabling throughout a building, combined with the systems mentioned above, examples such as office lighting can be powered and regulated by a central unit (in network cabinet), with the power consumption over PoE sitting at around 75% less than that of standard electrical cables, and the PoE-enabled lighting lasting 25 X longer than standard incandescent lighting (Primex, 2018).


However, in terms of existing commercial buildings where this smart technology is just as applicable and vital, there is still a huge lack of even basic fibre-optic or high-performance data cabling. Of course, it’s far more straightforward implementing such technology into a ‘new build’, than it is overhauling an existing building – but it can be done, with the correct survey, planning and experience. The problem for many is that given most buildings without such existing technology and structured cabling were built before much of this technology was ever a consideration, their construct and architecture is rarely forgiving or accommodative for such implementation – thus in-depth surveys (occasionally with the expertise of a QS if warranted), robust planning and some ultra-lateral thinking are some of the essential requirements when carrying out such a project. In terms of planning for both WLAN & LAN network, we’d carry out an on-site survey of the building to ascertain the general structure & architecture, from here we’d investigate the best placement and routes for cable runs & carry out network testing in order to achieve network heat maps to work from.

If you’d like to discuss Smart Building technology further, please find more information here.

How to prepare your business for Gigabit

In the past year, Gigabit installations (or FTTP/Fibre to the premises) have surged – largely down to the push and assistance from government, along with more consumer-friendly pricing options. As mentioned in our previous (blog), there are a whole host of benefits of installing Gigabit internet in your business – however there are some areas of upgrade to take into consideration also.

If you’re in a larger building, such as a Hotel, Care Home, Warehouse, large office, GP practice or other, it’s likely you’ll have some form of structured cabling throughout the building. This may be for phone system, desktop computer, or WiFi connections – if the cabling installation was carried out before the last couple of years, it’s likely it could be ‘Category 5’ cabling. Cat 5 cabling was great in its time, capable of speeds of up to 100mbps, however this is the maximum speed the cable can carry, meaning the benefits from a new Gigabit internet connection would not be realised by the end-user. Category 6 cabling (Cat 6) is the minimum level of cabling we deploy on projects, meaning even if the customer doesn’t yet have speeds of 1,000mbps+, when this does become available to them they can utilise the full benefits on all devices throughout the building. Whilst most consideration when installing Gigabit internet is down to the speeds, local availability, provider and pricing, the devices of which its use is intended along with the infrastructure within the building are all, of course, just as important.


Desktop PC’s, Laptops and other such devices may also not perform to their full potential with a Gigabit internet connection. You can check the capabilities of your device through ‘settings > control panel > network card’, which will indicate the speeds it’s capable of. Again, if the network card of your PC or Laptop is only capable of a maximum of 150mbps, this is the top speed you’ll be able to realise on the device – even with a Gigabit internet subscription. So, if you’re considering having a Gigabit internet connection installed in your premises, considerations of hardware on-site, such as devices mentioned above, is paramount in order to achieve a future-proofing solution across the board, and that all members of staff can benefit from the increased productivity and efficiency on their own devices.

WiFi Network

The WiFi access points (which emit the WiFi signal throughout the building) need to be capable of Gigabit speeds in order to realise the full speeds & bandwidth of your new Gigabit internet connection. Generally speaking, access points produced pre-2019 will be unlikely capable of catering for Gigabit speeds, and are generally not capable of more than 200/300mbps. So, whether you have access points in your building currently, or you’re choosing a provider to install them, the first point to check is the speed & bandwidth the system is capable of. All access points & networking equipment we install is capable of ‘WiFi 6’ or Gigabit speeds.

Structured Cabling

This depends on the form of cabling throughout your building – is it standard ethernet, Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6?

Cat 5 cabling is capable of speeds of up to 100mbps – this is the cap, so regardless of whether you have 1,500mbps Gigabit speeds coming into the premises, this can’t be distributed at this level on Cat 5….the maximum is 100mbps.

Cat 5e cabling is capable of speeds of up to 1,000mbps…again, if your incoming internet connection is capable of speeds upward of this, you will not realise any benefit above 1,000mbps.

Cat 6 cabling is capable of up to 10,000mbps (within a certain distance), which in terms of UK standards, the installation of which can be recognised as very securely future-proof. As the government ‘rolls-out’ gigabit internet, along with multiple providers, speeds are greatly increasing across the country. The maximum frequency of Cat6 is capped at 250MHz.

Cat 6a cabling is capable of up to 10,000mbps (the same as Cat6, in this respect), and has a maximum frequency of 500MHz.

So, overall when deciding on making the move to Gigabit internet for your business, there are undoubtedly many benefits of doing so – both in terms of staff performance, efficiency and overall business success. As mentioned, there are a couple of considerations to take into account to ensure once your new solution is deployed, it can make a difference to your business in all intended areas.

If you’re interested in utilising the benefits of Gigabit internet with Ayo, let us know your details below and we’ll call you right back.

COVID-19 and Working from Home

Phone systems fit for home working

COVID-19 hitting the United Kingdom, and across the world in 2020 was an immeasurable and distressing shock for everyone, including business owners. It has taught us some key lessons, and cemented the fact that office-working in the UK will likely never be the same again. The beauty of Unified Communications, and products such as Hosted Phone systems, is that the transition between home-working and the office has never been easier. 

During the pandemic, current customers and prospective customers approached us in a hurry,  seeking to ensure their communications could remain active and as normal despite the serious problems sweeping the country. 

Flexible and unified communications have always been of great importance in business, highlighted never more than ever by COVID-19. Some of our telephony products allow full flexibility for employees between the office and at home, allowing them their own phone number that can ultimately be used anywhere, on any device, provided an internet connection is available. Even desk phones can be simply lifted and brought home, with ‘plug-and-play’ functionality, the transition is pretty seamless, allowing day-to-day business communications to carry on as normal. A key point to note, is that unlike ISDN/Analogue-based phone systems, our internet-based and hybrid systems have allowed customers to simply lift the small amount of equipment from the office, bring it home, and be connected immediately. 

Ayo Home Working

Imagine being in an office, and at the drop of a hat, expected to move all staff into home-working mode, and perform as they would in the office, at home. Could your infrastructure handle this with ease, or would you need to start considering upgrades? Our systems, in Telecoms, WiFi and Managed IT, have full capability of this, meaning staff can switch between working in the office and at home seamlessly, at the click of a button.

Phone Systems

Provided you already have, or have opted for one of our cloud-based and hosted phone system solutions, and have an internet connection at home, the desk phones themselves can be seamlessly lifted from your office desk, taken home, plugged-in, and perform at their full functionality – as if you’d never even left the office. Our 24/7 support team can make adjustments or amendments for extension numbers and the like on your behalf, or you can do this on our online portal. All staff members will be able to place and receive calls from the same number, transfer calls within the organisation (to other staff members at home), as well as continue to benefit from the vast range of features on offer, including; Call Recording, Click-to-dial, Call Management and more.

Managed IT

Believe it or not, there was actually a shortage of laptop computers at the beginning of the pandemic – the shortage not being the serious problem. In not having a more versatile* IT infrastructure in place, many organisations rushed to buy-in laptops for home-working employees, which then had to be configured correctly to meet their organisational and security requirements….this can take a lot of time, and isn’t ideal in the event of staff having to immediately transition to a home-working environment. In having fully-configured & secure laptops and IT equipment in place for employees, along with our phone system offering mentioned above, Ayo can ensure your transition to-and-from home-working is as seamless as possible.

WiFi/Internet Connection

Another concern raised during the pandemic was internet connections at employee’s homes, largely down to the speed and bandwidth available. Generally a speed of anything above 30/40mbps download, and 10mbps+ upload would be appropriate for employee’s to work from home without issue. However, many discovered employee’s either didn’t have a live broadband connection at all, or the one in place wasn’t meeting the speed and bandwidth required to carry out their day-to-day work. Zoom calls, Microsoft Team’s meetings and video-calls, Conference calls and Voice/VOIP traffic left many disconnected, or repeatedly interrupted throughout their work day. This is a problem, as it can seriously affect employee’s productivity, and efficiency, not to mention morale. In the event of problems occurring, we were able to lay out a plan to ensure all employees had an appropriate and active internet connection at home – for those who didn’t have an internet connection, but had appropriate coverage of 4G/5G in the area, we were able to implement one of our simple though versatile routers to solve this problem (configuring network settings on each to cater to the requirements of the employee’s workload.)

If you feel your business isn’t quite there yet in terms of technology for home working, let us know below and we’ll call you back

Why would your business needs Call Recording?

Of course, there is no harm with businesses adopting major changes to their operations as they seek to take advantage of new technological advancements, but business owners often overlook the smallest of ideas. Call recording, a simple addition to your business phone system, might not seem like a major ground sweeping change, but you cannot underestimate its utility. The benefits of call recording are endless. In this blog we aim to take you through the benefits of call recording and explain why it is paramount for your business.

Save important calls…You would save important emails, so there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t do the same with your calls. Recording all of your calls allows staff to listen back to them as many times as they please, ensuring all important customer details are correctly noted down which could have otherwise been forgotten or lost in translation without call recording. Furthermore, call recording will allow your staff to make notes after the call has finished, allowing them to give their undivided attention to your customer, improving your customers overall experience. Read our blog here to see why call recording is specifically important for care homes.

Protect your business against disputes…Fraud against businesses is almost inevitable in this day and age. With Call Recording you can limit your liability and protect your business against any unwanted costly lawsuits. Call recording gives you a full record of every telephone conversation your business encounters, providing concrete evidence which can be produced in the event of any customer disputes, ultimately protecting your brand and business. Moreover, call recording can be a useful deterrent, protecting your staff from abuse.

For Staff Training and Customer Service – Call recording provides a fantastic opportunity to monitor and train your staff.

As a business owner, you will be able to monitor conversations between staff and your customers, allowing you to offer advice on how staff can improve their communication skills, whether that be tips on how to sell your products more effectively, or how to deal with customers more compassionately. Aside from being an effective method of training new and existing staff to boost sales, call recording will also improve the quality of your customer service. If staff are aware that all their calls are recorded, with the possibility they could be audited by a manager at a later date, staff will inevitably be more inclined to work to a higher standard.

Customer satisfaction – by maintaining a large selection of call recordings over a large time period, managers and owners are able to monitor customer satisfaction ratings over time. As everyone knows, high customer satisfaction levels are an integral part of customer retention. Call recording offers the perfect platform to measure key performance indicators and assess if targets are being met.

Legality – as long as your customers are aware that their calls could be getting recorded, call recording is completely legal. All of our business phone systems come with professional welcoming messages for your business as standard. In this message you can notify them their calls are being recorded, ensuring you meet all government guidelines and criteria. All of our systems are fully compliant with: MiFID II, Dodd Frank, and PCI.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, call recording should be used in each part of your business. Whether you wish to increase sales, boost revenue or enhance customer experience – call recording is one simple feature that can facilitate all of those. The benefits of call recording are endless.

Take your business into the new methods of commun犀利士 ication, and boost success! If you require more information, or would like a free consultation, let us know your details below and we’ll call you back.

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