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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.

The benefits of CTI for your business

If you’ve been considering reviewing your existing phone system or communications setup, you may be feeling overwhelmed by what seems a huge number of acronyms or abbreviations – ‘SIP’, ‘VOIP’, ‘CLI’, ‘DDI’ and now ‘CTI’. Hopefully this blog should break it down for you. CTI, or Computer Telephony Integration, combines telecommunications and computers – it comes as part of all Ayo’s phone system offerings. Thanks to the benefits of CTI, being limited to the use of the desk phone to make and receive calls is now a thing of the past.

In environments with heavy administration, or use of a computer, CTI becomes particularly useful. For example, in a GP Practice, or Dental Surgery, where reception staff are handling upward of 100 calls daily, whilst booking appointments on the computer, updating records, locating & informing of test results….working between a desk phone and managing the computer isn’t necessarily the most efficient setup. Using the Ayo desktop application, interlinked with the business phone system, staff can answer incoming calls, ‘click-to-dial’ numbers on-screen, transfer calls and more – all from their computer. In the time it takes to retrieve, manually dial, hold the receiver of a desk phone – all can be done without.

In 2021, as a general ‘rule of thumb’, when seeking a new Phone System for your business you should ensure it has a competent CTI offering. As demonstrated during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, seamless and confluent communications across all staff devices has never been more paramount – as we simply don’t know when we may have to work out of the office.

For Customer Service-facing roles, whether in a contact centre environment, or a reception, CTI becomes particularly useful in increasing operational efficiency and staff productivity. In a contact centre, for example, staff can receive calls through their desktop/laptop computer, with integrated soft-phones offering all expected features, such as: Answer, Hang up, Hold, Transfer, Mute, Conference Call etc, without the need to handle hardware such as a desk phone.

Another benefit is CRM-integration, whereby CTI ‘pops-up’ a brief record of the incoming caller’s details and other information for the call handler to view, meaning they won’t need to ask any unnecessary questions.

All-in-one Call Management

Call handlers, whether in a reception environment, contact centre or similar, can seamlessly place & receive calls directly through their workstation. All typical features, including answer, decline, transfer, hold, conference etc. are available.

Simpify Tasks – Boost efficiency

Many apps and software can integrate through the CTI system. Examples of integrative applications include the likes of Salesforce – where CRM information can be automatically inserted into the call flow. The caller’s information ‘pops-up’ on-screen for the call handler by seamlessly matching their credentials (Name, number etc.) with the existing information in the CRM. This allows the agent to view all customer information & history without having to spend time ‘catching up’ on it at the beginning of the call – saving valuable time. In one single feature, this increases the customer experience levels, satisfaction, whilst also boosting efficiency & productivity.

Instant Caller Records

The caller record ‘pop-up’ on the agents workstation gives all relevant information about the caller (name, number, email address, customer history etc.). The call handler can greet the customer or client by name (offering a more friendly caller experience) and have full access to all relevant information instantly. Again, this saves a lot of time in collecting details from the customer, cross-referencing, and potentially having the caller wait on hold whilst the agent checks.

Data-Driven monitoring of agents

With the benefits of GDPR-compliant call recording, live monitoring, managed call history (for managing missed/unhandled calls), manager’s can instantly understand the overall performance & efficiency of their team. As a data-driven feature, manager’s are automatically provided multiple pieces of data of which they can ultimately make decisions from – allowing them to specifically target areas of concern/improvement. This as a package ultimately ‘trickles down’ into better customer service & satisfaction ratings.

Data-Driven Call Routing

As CTI integrates with most CRM/Database services/software, by utilising data from business records or their CRM, calls are routed to the member of staff best-suited or qualified to handle the caller’s needs. Through use of automated, data-driven decisions, this feature directly increased the productivity and efficiency of the agent, and can reduce call waiting times for the caller – resulting in a more positive customer experience.

If you’d like to hear more about how CTI can help your business, please leave your details below and we’ll contact you.

Add a strong voice to Teams

In terms of collaboration software for businesses, Microsoft Teams is certainly a hugely popular choice amongst businesses worldwide – however its voice feature has been poorly served. Microsoft’s own roster of calling plans don’t serve what businesses require, and we’ve been hearing it a lot from our customers.

This is why we’ve adapted our communicator to accommodate full integration of Microsoft Teams for our customers, at no extra monthly charge. The new integrative features include enhanced flexibility & robustness, call recording with PCI-compliant options, international numbering, call routing and so much more. Since launching the new integration update, our customers have all voiced their approval and are now benefitting from fully-fledged voice services over Microsoft Teams – contrary to their experiences before of unfit direct routing, low technical intelligence & resilience.

Improves Collaboration

Schedule online meetings, live-chat with colleagues, and have an overall easy-flowing communication line between staff and customers – without voice connection problems, jittering or distortion.

Feature Rich

You’ll still have all of the amazing features our communicator platform has to offer, but now with the added extra of seamless Teams integration, making, receiving and transferring calls on audio or meeting setup can be done seamlessly.

Customisation & Integration

Integrating Teams with the Ayo communicator allows for even more integrations to help support & grow your business, without the hassle of using a badly served voice add-on.

If you’re frustrated with how voice-over-teams is serving you, let us know your details below and we’ll be in touch to discuss further.

How business strategy aligns with Managed IT Services

A resilient and robust IT system has never been of more importance to business than now. The ‘break/fix’ model of IT management is not obsolete, and a consistent monitoring & upgrading of systems is required to stay on top and ensure your business can run at its optimal potential.

‘Digital transformation’ is the process of going from a traditional ‘analogue’ business, to a digital pioneer…it’s happening everywhere. This is why it’s a good time for you and your business to decide whether they want to upgrade their IT systems and processes – ultimately whether you want to be the ‘Blockbuster Video’, or ‘Netflix’ of your industry. The back-end of your business is just as important as the front – just because customer’s and clients don’t necessarily see your IT & Cloud systems, how you communicate with each other, store data, security measures and a lot more, doesn’t mean its importance is any less.

So, how do Managed services help your business where it matters?

Allowing those with expertise to take control & deliver

Many Managed IT providers will offer a universal approach for their customers, without specifically tailoring it to the customer’s business. Ayo has pre-set KPI’s in place for our customers, meaning we can ensure that our services deliver for you. Whether this is staff performance, sales statistics or another metric you wish to discuss, we’ll endeavour to meet your aspirations with proven, tangible results at your end.

Increase efficiency & lower costs

Switching to a Managed IT Service provider will reduce infrastructure costs in multiple ways. By allowing a provider to take control of the infrastructure, the amount of infrastructure held on-site can be vastly reduced, and hosted in Data Centres provided by us off-site. This doesn’t mean the services have to go, simply streamlining the way in which they are hosted & managed can save businesses multiple costs including the hardware itself & maintenance, space required to house it and the significant energy it ultimately uses.

Upscale/Downscale with ease

Scalability is paramount to delivering business growth, development and success. As technology continues to advance so quickly, businesses need to be in a position to scale up, or down as and when required. As a business expands, it’s generally expected that the resources they have in place are outgrown by the technology required to do so. Ayo offers on-hand the configuration, services and support to effectively sustain growth of your business. By outsourcing Managed IT services to a Managed IT provider, businesses can reduce labour costs from between 10% and 50%, dependent on the method of delivery – resulting in 5% to 30% in total net savings (Gartner, 2019).

Avoid unnecessary & costly downtime

Network downtime can cost as much as £4,000/minute – Gartner, 2020. Downtime can be a very expensive and stressful experience, meaning not only can it financially cost a business dearly when experienced, it can trigger an unproductive wave for staff who end up de-motivated as a result of their systems being down.

Personal Point of Contact

As part of our Managed IT & Cloud Services, all customers have a dedicated account manager on-hand to assist with any changes you’d like made, or to report issues experienced. Further to this, your account manager can provide analysis, strategy and an overall plan for your business’s technology & IT systems.

Stay Compliant

PCI Standards to be met. A secure IT backup allows your business to protect, preserve & retrieve data in the rare occurrence issues may arise…whether it’s a single important file, or a whole database in a government-compliant manner. Ensure your business is compliant with all necessary regulatory standards with an IT & Cloud services review.

If you’d like to hear more about Ayo’s Managed IT & Cloud services, click here to see more.

What’s the BT ISDN Switch-Off?

ISDN is essentially the network that’s in place to carry telephone calls when you talk, and data for using the internet. The infrastructure behind this is, in essence, the same as what it was when first introduced in the 1800’s! Long due a change then, eh? The problem with such an antiquated network still operating today, is that it’s very costly to maintain, and these costs are always rising, thus it makes sense to switch onto something new. This is where the switch-off comes in.

BT, who runs the network across the UK, is switching their network to be IP-Based. You may recognise this acronym, having seen the likes of VOIP, or SIP before. Rather than having an old connection that carries both voice and data, it’ll be a fast data connection, which also carries voice calling.

The change will allow businesses a lot of additional options when it comes to voice calling, but nothing too major needs to be done. The phones are all relatively similar, and of course work in the same way. However, you may wish to look at upgrading your system for future-proofing, and to unlock a variety of very useful features IP-based phone systems come with to help your business.

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