Why your telco systems (almost certainly) need an upgrade

Grabbing people’s attention for a chat about unified communication isn’t easy. They’d rather talk about apps or 5G. We think that’s a big mistake. Companies rely on telecommunications. They need the best infrastructure possible and most are miles off track.

Here’s an example. Central England Co-operative is part of The Co-operative Group with 450 stores employing 9,000 staff. They had a hunch their existing communications supplier was being complacent, so they put their core network, calls, lines, store connectivity and failover out to tender.

Onecom picked up the contract. We gave their infrastructure a mighty shake-up. The stores need constant connectivity. If the line goes down, the store can’t function. So we pushed the boundaries of remote management and multi-connection deployments. We combined VPLS FTTC, ADSL and 4G to ensure maximum reliability. The 4G failsafe was a real breakthrough. Usually 4G comes with a lack of a static IP address on a SIM card. This presents all sorts of problems.

OnecomWe used a router with auto-failover to 4G that creates a VPN network simultaneously to solve the problem. Stores now have different levels of external antenna and 4G SIMs on two different networks to guarantee uptime.

The fixed line network was upgraded too. We switched their ISDN and PSTN to Onecom, achieving a small fortune in savings. The feedback? In the first month, 97 per cent of stores reported a notable improvement in network performance and reliability. Figures like that really get people concentrating.

Here’s another radical makeover we executed for a client with an out-of-date set-up. Nobles Construction is a Merseyside-based business specialising in innovative, high-value, new-build and refurbishment projects. They have a lot of workers out on sites and at other locations.

Their old system relied on a bog-standard PBX. It meant calls could not be rerouted. Urgent inquiries just went unanswered. Onecom provided Nobles Construction with a new methodology in which mobiles, fixed lines and devices are all totally integrated. Calls can be routed to colleagues or to mobiles. Now the annoyance of calls ringing unanswered is a mere memory. To finish the job, 4G broadband routers were installed at all of Nobles’ construction sites, replacing the need for dongles, saving at least £200 a month.

Switching the company over to Microsoft 365 changed the way Nobles Construction worked in the field. Now everyone has access to the most up-to-date documents, plans and drawings no matter where they are.

These two examples prove how much innovation is possible in telecoms. Even companies that think they have a decent infrastructure can be helped hugely by a specialist review. When a company wants to upgrade, we offer four pieces of advice to ensure they select the right provider.

First is the evaluation. Any decent provider should give your processes a forensic examination before suggesting anything. Every company is different, with unique needs.

Onecom is the UK’s largest independent business telecommunications provider delivering fixed line and mobile voice, data and high-integrity broadband services

Second is a single point of contact. Too many companies endure evasive suppliers. They get passed from manager to technical expert to accounts. There’s no accountability. This is wrong. Every company should have a dedicated UK-based account manager who takes full responsibility.

Third is access to the latest technologies. The telecoms industry is moving fast. New products arrive all the time. Ask your provider what new solutions they can recommend. What breakthroughs have they pioneered? The right provider will be able to talk you through the latest improvements and how they can help your business.

The fourth is a commitment to service. Lots of communications providers say they offer brilliant service, but do they? Ask around.

Onecom is the UK’s largest independent business telecommunications provider delivering fixed line and mobile voice, data and high-integrity broadband services.

We contribute more than 25 per cent of Vodafone’s total UK enterprise business, and our technical expertise and innovative approach has been cited on numerous occasions as the reason companies have chosen to partner with us. Clients see that on all four counts listed above, we excel. Our growth is a result of us practising what we preach.

Communications matter. Companies need rock-solid reliability. They need the latest solutions. And they need everything deployed smoothly and intelligently. If you aren’t getting this, it’s time to take action.

To find out more visit Onecom.co.uk


Comms ManagerThe centrepiece of Onecom’s offering is CommsManager. Developed entirely in-house, CommsManager is an always-on user portal providing comprehensive, self-serve mobile fleet management via a simple-to-use customer interface.
Features include new device ordering and initiation, device repair and replacement co-ordination, consumption monitoring, flexible cost centre allocation, reporting and summary function, itemised billing by employee and/or month, and billing by device or group. User records may also be updated.

CommsManager’s dashboard feature allows authorised users to access an overview of spend, usage and activity, broken down by department as required. Usage can be monitored in granular detail, isolating activity by month and viewing an employee’s individual consumption of voice minutes, SMS and data.

The asset management capability allows users to identify and monitor company-owned and employee-owned assets, including those that are archived. Asset status may be recorded – spare, lost or stolen, live – and numbers allocated or reallocated. Records may be filtered by username or mobile number.

Invoices can be viewed and compared with monthly charges displayed by number, cost centre and department. Reports may be exported to an Excel workbook.

Designed primarily for larger mobile fleet operators, CommsManager is currently being scaled to provide appropriate functionality for smaller organisations at a proportional cost.

For reasons of security, every version of CommsManager is configured independently with a dedicated URL assigned to each customer.

Late 2016 will see the launch of CommsManager FL, extending the capability of the CommsManager platform to include fixed line service management.