Monthly Archives: May 2014

Boost Productivity & Cut Costs with In Car Solutions

In Car Solutions

Does your business run company vehicles?

Yes? Then you’ll know first-hand the biggest pain points are tracking, fuel wastage and mileage reporting.

Scary statistics

In fact 46% of drivers admit to inaccurate mileage tracking, resulting in unfair costs to either the business owner or the employee when claiming expenses. Not only are claims in-accurate nearly 50% of the time, but they are also admin heavy, and leave your workforce unfocused, with 70% of drivers finding submitting mileage records laborious. Worse yet, a company with 100 drivers can lose 200 hours every single month to admin. That’s nearly 9 unproductive days every 4 weeks.

What can you do?

Talk to our team about our In Car Solutions. We offer vehicle tracking so you can have a real time location of all the vehicles in your fleet, and receive automated vehicle information such as speed, mileage and fuel consumption – without the need for any input from your on the road employee. Better yet, our solution will optimise driving behaviour and eliminate the need to record mileage by hand – which is more than too often inaccurate and overly time consuming.

Get in touch today and banish unfair expense claims, cut admin time and most importantly, boost productivity.

Figures taken from the TomTom 2013 Study.

Why Office 365?

Why-Office-365

Gain Access Virtually Anywhere

Office 365 is the cost-effective, smart solution to cloud computing and helps you work from virtually anywhere, on nearly any device — whether that’s a PC, Mac, iPhone, Android Phone, or BlackBerry. Working remotely means anywhere access to the info you need, with the most consistent and secure experience. Access your inbox with the Outlook Web App while you’re at the coffee shop, or finish off that report on your commute with the Office Web App. Or join an online meeting with the Lync Web App and cut unnecessary travel time, and thus your expenses. With Office 365, you can reap the benefits of virtually anywhere access.

Reduce Cost and Provide Flexibility

Running a business can be unpredictable and stressful enough, without your essential tools bringing you down. With Office 365 you will have predictable, annual costs for your communication, collaboration and productivity tools.  And, it can actually help you significantly reduce costs and effort spent deploying and managing on-premises servers.

Enterprise Security

With Office 365, your data is protected with the highest standard of physical and digital security. Microsoft Exchange Online has built-in antivirus and spam filtering protections designed to address new virus and spam threats—known and unknown—as soon as they appear. Help safeguard your data with enterprise-grade reliability, continuous data back-up, and take advantage of disaster recovery capabilities so even power-cuts won’t shut you down. Combined with a strict privacy policy, Office 365 offers high-level enterprise security and helps you meet certain regulatory requirements.

Keep IT in Control

Through the Office 365 management site, IT stays in control. Patches, updates, and back-end upgrades are automatically applied while you retain control over when to deploy major changes. You can also delegate authority for specific administrative tasks through Role-Based Access Controls.

Exceptional Email, Collaboration, and Online Meeting Solutions

Office 365 provides exceptional email, collaboration, and online meeting solutions. Your people can simultaneously edit documents with their colleagues and easily escalate the collaboration into an online meeting.

Help On-Premises and Online Users Work Seamlessly

Even if some of your users’ mailboxes are on premises and others are in the cloud, Exchange Online provides rich co-existence that allows them to function as a single, integrated architecture. Features such as Free/Busy information, MailTips, mailbox search, message tracking, and archiving are available to both cloud and on-premises users, so collaboration is seamless regardless of whether a user’s mailbox resides on-premises or in the cloud.

Minimise the Learning Curve, Receive Support & Find the plan that Fits your Needs.

Office 365 is available in a variety of plans to meet your businesses and IT needs. Each plan has the same 99.9 percent up-time guarantee and the robust security you expect from Microsoft. We can go through your options together, and make our recommendation based on your business needs and desires. Once you’ve found your plan, your people can become productive right away using the familiar Office tools that integrate with Office 365. While we cover the setup and configuration, and give you the support you need.

For more on Office 365, click here. Or get in contact, we would love to hear from you.

The 5 Reasons why your Business should be using Digital Pens

The digital pen resembles your standard ball-point pen. It can be used like a normal pen and even uses ink, but unlike other pens, the digital pen has a very tiny camera stored inside. This camera stores your hand movements and saves your notes – digitally. This means every word, signature, doodle, sketch or scribble, is converted to a digital page.

Digital Pen

The 5 Reasons why your Business should be using Digital Pens

1) Save hours on tedious jobs

With the digital pen, your field notes are automatically converted to digital notes. These notes are then securely imported into your company database. Ensuring your customer data and information is safely, digitally stored. The digital format offers easy, clear viewing. So your employees will no longer have to manually scan through dodgy notes or signatures in an attempt to decipher the hand-writing. Your business can save hours finding, filing, and re-keying mountains of paperwork. While the safe importation provides a central database that staff can use to synchronise. Letting you provide a smooth, professional service from start to finish.

2) Cut staff expenses and time on admin

Nearly half of all staff in-accurately record mileage data. Creating big issues for both you, the business owner, and your employees. While 70% of staff find submitting records laborious. With the digital pen, your workforce can finally avoid unnecessary trips back and forth to the office dropping off paperwork, as data is automatically sent back to base. This reduces your staff expenses, and frees up admin time, allowing your staff to be more productive.

3) Provide accurate reporting

The digital pen is a real-time tool. Allowing your business to offer a professional service with timely, accurate reporting. Run a delivery service? You can finally avoid customer disputes over delivery times, or monitor how timely your drivers are. Whether you’re an engineer, healthcare worker, surveyor, training officer or a delivery driver, working in the field means you need data sent back to base quickly. With the digital pen, you can do just that, transmitting data in a matter of minutes, accurately and securely.

4) Offer a professional, modernised service

With the digital pen, you can customise your data capture sheets. Fully branding forms and other documents. Write with the digital pen, or use it with smartphones or tablets. We can adapt the digital pen to fit in with your business needs. While you can show your customers that you are up to date with the latest technology, and provide an accurate, timely, service.

5) Finally, reap the benefits without big changes to working practices or capital outlay

The digital pen is used just like a normal pen and thus requires no extra time or money training staff. Better yet, we can take care of the whole process for you. Providing and managing the digital pens for your business. And, as every business is different, you’ll receive a free return on investment audit. Taking into consideration the true cost of your current operations; capturing and processing data from the field, sending it back to base and then re-keying it. You’ll receive a calculation of the time that you can save on admin, and free up to re-invest. You will also receive the value of savings you’ll make on paper, mileage, and other costs. With all of these factors taken into account, you’ll also receive benefits of greater data security, improved customer service and faster cash flow. Better yet, the digital pen can cost as little as £20 per user, per month.*

Interested?

Please feel free to get in touch via the contact form, send an email, or pick up the phone. We would love to hear from you. You can also check out the digital pens page – or download the digital pens pdf.

*Price excludes print cost, airtime, and VAT and is based on a 36 Month Contract. Subject to Status.  As always, the t’s and c’s apply.

Why Calls Will Always Come Out On Top – You Need Your Telephone

With so many communication channels now available, it can be difficult for your business to decide on the best method. So, how should you be dealing with your customers requests and inquiries?

A recent U.S study asked consumers how they prefer to resolve customer service issues:
study figures
While social media, texting, online networking, and other channels are making an impact. The telephone still maintains the spot for the best communication tool.

Real people want real people. And the telephone offers exactly that. A real-time conversation, with someone at the end of the line that you can connect with – without the cost and time of travel that a face-to-face conversation brings.

The telephone provides the perfect balance between instant conversation and the personal touch; tone of voice, and connection.

With this being said, isn’t it time your business made the move towards an efficient, telecommunications strategy?

5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Using MDM

You should have control of all the mobiles devices entering your organisation, whether they are company devices or part of a BYOD programme. MDM (Mobile Device Management) is the solution that gives you high-level control, and security.

The 5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Using MDM

1)  Introduce and enforce your Company’s very own telecoms policy – (with minimal effort!)

With MDM, you can set real-time compliance rules with automated actions. For example, you could prevent jail-broken or rooted devices from entering your company network, lock down SIM changes, enforce minimum OS versions, and even lock, block and wipe rule-breaking devices. Better yet, you can also enforce policies based on your company’s roaming or data usage limits. With this system in place, you can ensure that your company devices will be used correctly, and you can rest assured that the correct actions will be taken without the need for constant, manual monitoring.

2)  Create virtual barriers with geo-fencing rules

Geo-fencing test 2Geo-fencing is a tool that allows you to define geographical boundaries. These boundaries form virtual barriers that trigger when one of your company devices enters or exits the chosen area. For example, you could choose to be notified if a company-owned iPad leaves your grounds. With this notification, you’ll have the knowledge, and choice, about whether or not to disable the device.

Or you could restrict certain apps, such as games, when an employee is at your business location during working hours. When it’s lunch hours, the block could be automatically removed. A further example is blocking device cameras. Cameras can actually be automatically turned off at sensitive work locations, ensuring high-level security and privacy. With geo-fencing, the possibilities are vast, and offer you a high-level of control, customised to your business needs.

3)  Locate and manage lost or stolen devices, in an instance

Shamefully, smartphones are stolen in London every 5 minutes. Worse yet, half of all street crimes involve smartphone theft.  MDM gives you added security and a back-up plan if a device in your fleet is lost or stolen. With the ability to remotely locate and lock a lost device, you can buy yourself time to find it, and ensure it stays safe. You can also remotely wipe a device, to ensure company data is protected when a corporate device is missing.

4) Manage all of your corporate applications and documents in one central system

With MDM, you can advertise, distribute and update applications; to all of your users, a select group, or just the one, all from a quick and easy central system. And with secure document sharing, you can build-in security to prevent your corporate data getting into the wrong hands. You can receive visibility about who has downloaded the document, specify password protection, expiry dates, restrict sharing, and more. With MDM, you can significantly reduce the risks of data leaks, and rest assured that your company files are secure.

5)  Receive a top-notch service – (of course!)

We can assist and help your business manage and deploy the MDM solution that is right for you. On a variety of devices, such as iPhones, iPads, Androids, Kindle Fire devices, Windows Phones, and BlackBerry Devices. Better yet, our solution will integrate with your existing IT infrastructure. Working seamlessly with Exchange ActiveSync, Lotus Notes Traveller, TouchDown and more. Saving you additional infrastructure or personnel costs.

Get in touch

If you would like high-level control of your corporate devices and added security, please do pick up the phone, send a email, fill out a contact form or even write a letter. We’re happy to give you more information on our MDM solution and answer any questions you may have.

You can also visit our MDM page for more information.

Project Ara – The Smartphone Initiative That Could Save You Money

Build your very own smartphone with Project Ara
Project Ara is a code name for an initiative by Google. The aim of the project is to develop a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. The platform will include a structural frame that holds smartphone modules of your choice. Like lego pieces, you can build your very own smartphone. Constantly on the move? Wack in an extra battery. Can’t commit to a touch-screen? Put in a keyboard. Better yet, once you have designed your custom-made smartphone, you can swap out a module if you wish. For example, if a piece stopped functioning or an upgraded version became available, such as an improved camera, you could simply swap the specific part, rather than the whole device. This would significantly extend the lifetime of your handset, and thus your initial spend. And for the eco-conscious, this platform will also potentially reduce electronic waste.
Project Ara

Why is Google pushing Project Ara?
Currently, smartphone manufacturers include Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Sony, LG and of course, Google. Yet the number is still limited. With these big players, it’s hard for the little guys to break into the market and show you what they have to offer. Google wants to change this. With Project Ara, the barrier for entry would be lowered. In essence, there could be “hundreds of thousands of developers” instead of the current handful. Anyone will be able to build a module without requiring a license or paying a fee. Project Ara will give the techie genius’s out there a chance, even if they don’t have a bucket load of money behind them. You never know, someone out there could be waiting for their chance to bring you something really special. Maybe even something, revolutionary. With Project Ara, they’ll be able to.

Tell me more about the phone
The frame discussed previously, will be the only component in an Ara phone made by Google. The modules will be inserted into this metal endoskeletal frame known as “endos”. There will be two frame sizes available at first: a “mini” frame, about the size of a Nokia 3310, and a “medium” frame, about the size of a LG Nexus 5. In the future, a larger frame, around the size of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be available. Each frame is expected to cost around $15 (That’s around £9!). The frames will have slots on the front for the display, and other modules. While the back will have slots for additional modules.

Project Ara

What are the “modules”?
Modules will be common smartphone features, such as cameras and speakers. But, they may also provide more specialised features, such as medical devices, receipt printers, laser points, night vision sensors, projectors, and even game controller buttons. The list is endless. These modules are then secured with electro permanent magnets. The enclosures of the modules will be 3D printed, so that you can design your own individual enclosure and replace them if you want. So, where will you go to get your modules? Modules will be available at the official Google store and at third-party stores. Ara phones will only accept official modules by default, but users can change a software setting to enable unofficial modules. This is similar to how Android handles app installation.

I remember PhoneBloks? What’s the difference?
Some of you may remember our post on PhoneBloks. PhoneBloks spread the need for a modular phone with their YouTube video. Initially, Project Ara and PhoneBloks worked independently of each other. Ara started out as a project by the Google Motorola team ATAP, to design and implement the modular phone. While PhoneBloks is a initiative by Dave Hakkens, to increase community awareness about the need for a modular phone. However, once the PhoneBlok video went viral with millions of views, the ARA team took note of PhoneBlocks and the two started working together, with Dave Hakkens taking videos of the ARA Project and uploading them to YouTube.

Down to business:
Price: Google intends to sell a starter kit where the bill of materials is $50 (around £30) and will include a frame, display, battery, low-end CPU and WiFi. You can then add on your chosen modules.

Release Date: The first model is scheduled to be released in January 2015.

Google says the phone is designed to be used by a whopping “six billion people”.
Project Ara - 6 Billion PeopleWill you be one of them?