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Comments Off on Centile Announces Expansion in UK Unified Communications Market

Centile Announces Expansion in UK Unified Communications Market

Posted by Admin | July 14, 2017 | Unified Commuication

Centile Telecom Applications, one of Europe’s leading European developers of unified communications solutions for operators and integrators, has announced expansion plans for the UK market.  This includes growth and development focus through industry veteran Justin Hamilton-Martin, to act as UK Business Development Director and work with telecom service providers and resellers.

Telephony systems provider Centile supports approximately 100 service providers in 20 countries with its advanced unified communications, IP Centrex and fixed mobile convergence products.  Today, approaching one million worldwide people make voice calls supported by Centile, independent of any service, device or network.  Centile has been recognised by Frost & Sullivan for “Cloud Communication-Value Price / Performance Leadership”.

Says Justin Hamilton-Martin, “Centile offers a flexible and highly profitable alternative to the likes of Broadsoft. The time is right for a challenger brand like Centile to grow in the UK and customers will receive the support they need to make this happen.”

“As well as carrier-grade telecom dedicated instances of Centile’s Istra platform, we will also be introducing a ‘Platform as a Service’ (PaaS) offering in the UK – based on the already successful template developed in France.  This will create an entry-level solution for companies new to hosting IP Centrex services, where they don’t want to run their own data centre assets or employ in-house technical expertise in this area.”

Service providers will be able to bring their own carrier SIP trunk relationships and data networking partners when they migrate to Centile’s Istra Cloud Platform as a Service (CPaaS).  The flexibility of the Centile platform allows them to create their own service bundles and due to the way Centile’s IP Centrex is structured, they can anticipate higher profit margins when compared to other solutions or in house development costs.

Adds Bertrand Pourcelot, Director General at Centile Telecom Applications:

“The UK currently accounts for about 10 per cent of our global revenue and we see huge potential to grow that.  We want to help our customers grow, not to become a service provider ourselves.  We also focus on our ecosystem, of finding great technology partners and making our open API available.”

Hamilton-Martin brings extensive experience in the telecoms market, including CEO roles at service providers 8el and Ultracomms, numerous consulting projects and selling wholesale services.

About Centile Telecom Applications SAS
Centile Telecom Applications is the leading European developer of unified communications platforms for operators and integrators. The Centile Any3 architecture – Any service, over Any network, on Any terminal – addresses the needs of businesses and operators seeking to deliver advanced professional communications services to fixed and mobile users independent of the device they’re using or the network they’re connected to. In the fast-moving market for fixed and mobile communications, Centile ISTRA solutions offer customers the flexibility and agility to rapidly develop innovative new services in response to ever-changing customer requirements. Centile has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan “Cloud Communication-Value Price/ Performance Leadership” and the 2017 Internet Telephony Product of the Year Award.

Source: commstrader

Comments Off on Cyber Threats Could Cost Lives Unless NHS Improves Security

Cyber Threats Could Cost Lives Unless NHS Improves Security

Posted by Admin | July 13, 2017 | IT Security

Cyber threats could put the lives of patients at risk unless the NHS swiftly overhauls its security, a leading surgeon has said.

Lord Darzi said the widespread use of outdated computer systems had made hospitals a “soft target” for hackers. And he said improving security was vital, not just to protect services from hackers – but to rebuild public confidence in projects which rely on shared access to medical records, in order to save lives.

Yesterday ministers pledged to spend an extra £21m on NHS cyber security, and to adopt a series of security measures which were recommended a year ago – before the worst attack in the history of the health service.

Writing for the Telegraph, Lord Darzi, a surgeon and former health minister, backed the plans – which will also mean patients can opt out of having their data shared for any purpose apart from their own care.

It follows years of controversy about plans to for a shared national database, which were put on hold amid rows about who could access the data.

Ministers said the plans would “drive up security standards” across the NHS and give patients clear informed choices about the way information about them is used.

Lord Darzi, director of the Insitute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, said the measures struck “the right balance between the interests of patients, the NHS and medical science”.

While data security was crucial, so too was the ability to share information in order to advance medical knowledge, he wrote.

“We must manage these twin aims or risk endangering the lives of all those who depend on the NHS to deliver the highest standard of care,” Lord Darzi said.

The plans will see new NHS hotline set up to respond to cyber threats, with action to ensure trusts stop using unsupported operating systems, including Windows XP.

Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said: “The NHS has a long history of safeguarding confidential data, but with the growing threat of cyber-attacks including the WannaCry ransomware attack in May, this government has acted to protect information across the NHS.”

Source: telegraph

Comments Off on BT and KPMG warn businesses against cyber security traps

BT and KPMG warn businesses against cyber security traps

Posted by Admin | July 11, 2017 | IT Security

In the wake of high-profile global ransomware attacks such as WannaCry and Petya, BT and KPMG have today published a new cyber security report offering practical advice to businesses of all sizes on how best to manage their security journey and turn it into a business opportunity.

The new report, “The cyber security journey – from denial to opportunity”, warns businesses against falling into dangerous traps as they deal with the complexity of securing a digital enterprise. These include being stuck in ‘Denial’ and ‘Worry’ phases at one end of the spectrum, and ‘False Confidence’ and ‘Hard Lessons’ at the other end.

While the report stresses that investment in technology such as firewalls and antivirus protection is essential ‘good housekeeping’ practice at the start of the security journey, firms should avoid throwing money away on IT security products as a knee-jerk reaction.

This is especially true for companies who have matured from the stage of ‘denial’ into the stage of constant ‘worry’, where investing in the latest technology can be viewed as the silver bullet to the problem. This common mistake can make firms a target, not just for cyber criminals, but also for over-zealous IT salespeople.

Businesses must first assess their current controls against best practice, such as the guidance issued by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), to help identify any gaps and prioritise essential areas in which to invest. Furthermore, everyone in the organisation, from the board down, must take responsibility for maintaining high standards of cyber hygiene, while businesses must invest in training and raise awareness amongst staff. This can help turn employees from the weakest point in any security chain into every company’s greatest asset in the fight to protect data.

Mark Hughes, CEO, BT Security, said: “The global scale of the recent ransomware attacks showed the astonishing speed at which even the most unsophisticated of attacks can spread around the world. Many organisations could have avoided these attacks by maintaining better standards of cyber hygiene and getting the basics right. These global incidents remind us that every business today – from the smallest sole trader through to SMEs and large multinational corporations – needs to get to grips with managing the security of their IT estate, as well as their people and processes. This report aims to help secure the digital enterprise by navigating businesses through their cyber security journey.”

David Ferbrache, Technical Director in KPMG’s cyber security practice, said: “The recent spate of cyber-attacks is keeping cyber risk at the top of the business agenda, and as such investments are being made. The business community needs to avoid knee-jerk reactions as cyber security is a journey – not a one size fits all issue, and getting the basics like patching and back-ups right matters. It’s important to build a security culture, raise awareness amongst staff, and remember that security needs to enable business, not prevent it.

“Cyber threats are evolving and businesses face ruthless criminal entrepreneurs. The solution isn’t jargon ridden technology silver bullets but one that involves a community effort in a world where business boundaries are vanishing. With criminals getting increasingly creative about finding the weakest link, the CISOs of the future need to care about digital risk, help the business seize opportunities and build cyber resilience.”

Although cyber security issues are increasingly discussed at board level today, the report claims that those discussions are too infrequent and are treated as a separate and disconnected issue from broader operational risk. All too often, the issue of cyber security is not incorporated into the overarching business strategy.

The report also argues that overly complex IT architecture can worsen security gaps. This is especially the case if the technology deployed is too difficult to use or there’s a lack of integration.

In order to address these risks and gain true leadership in cyber security, the report calls on firms to focus on good governance processes, the proper integration of technologies and to consider outsourcing some less critical aspects of their security to a trusted partner. This, combined with the sharing of intelligence, good practice and hard-won lessons among a network of peers and beyond would put the company in a position to think about cyber security differently. Namely, not as a risk which is discussed by the board perhaps twice a year, but as a business opportunity and enabler for digital transformation.

Source: bt

Comments Off on TalkTalk Replaces CFO Iain Torrens with Dixons Carphone Executive in Reshaping of Top Team

TalkTalk Replaces CFO Iain Torrens with Dixons Carphone Executive in Reshaping of Top Team

Posted by Admin | July 10, 2017 | Telecoms

The company announced that current CFO, Iain Torrens, was stepping down and will be succeeded by Kate Ferry, who is director of investor relations and corporate affairs at Dixons Carphone.

Ferry has been with Dixons Carphone for seven years and prior to that she was a retail analyst at US bank Merrill Lynch and worked as an audit manager at accountancy firm PwC.

The appointment of Ferry comes as TalkTalk shakes up its business and management team following the departure of chief executive Dido Harding in May.

Charles Dunstone, TalkTalk’s executive chairman and former chairman of Dixons Carphone, said:  “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Iain for his hard work over the last few years.”

Dunstone, who owns 31% of the company, added: “He has been a valued member of the TalkTalk team and the board and we all wish him well for the future. I am also delighted to welcome Kate to TalkTalk. As we continue our journey under the new leadership team and with a refocused direction, Kate brings a wealth of experience to the role.”

The reshaping of the British company’s top team comes after warning in May that earnings will drop this year. The group also halved its dividend to cut debts and help fund measures to restore its core strength as a main player in the broadband market as its retail business comes under pressure from bigger rivals BT Group and Sky plc.

Source: proactiveinvestors

Comments Off on Cyber Security Due Diligence During Mergers and Acquisitions

Cyber Security Due Diligence During Mergers and Acquisitions

Posted by Admin | July 7, 2017 | IT Security

Mergers and acquisitions are complicated. No matter how similar the two parties are, joining them together is always an intricate, complex task – so cyber security due diligence is required.

The due diligence process is well established, with financial experts poring over the target’s numbers and lawyers advising on legal responsibilities to ensure there are no surprises post-close. It’s rarely a simple or quick task, but it’s necessary. How about cyber security due diligence though?

While more traditional areas have long been established, one rising star in the due diligence process is cyber security. With hacked companies hitting the headlines on what seems like a daily basis – and organisations relying more (or even being solely based on) on technology – deal teams are having to take potential cyber risks into account.

Cyber security due diligence is typically carried out by expert external advisors and primarily identifies and quantifies the risks and liabilities in support of a deal and any subsequent integration.

Technical in nature, cyber security due diligence is highly focused and designed to give stakeholders an understanding of any material exposure requiring action either pre or post-close.

The specific risks themselves range from compliance with relevant regulations, through to integrating the acquired business into the acquirer’s environment. Often the target may sell a product or service based on technology that forms the main value of the deal, and in these cases a thorough security review is needed to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Furthermore, if that product is marketed on its inherent security resilience or security functionality the acquiring company must understand the possibilities or circumstances that would undermine this position.

As a deal team you should engage in cyber security due diligence to answer the following key questions:

(1) What is known about security?
During the cyber security due diligence process, new information and context around security and associated risks will be uncovered. Some will be technical, others will be governance or risk-related, but all will have the potential to provide insight and a sense as to how the target treats security, its level of understanding and any future challenges. This can also include searching for previously unknown compromise.

(2) What are the risks?
One of the specific outputs will be identified risks. These risks will be presented in the context of the specific deal and often with quantification as to their potential impact.

(3) How does the target compare?
Often when acquiring a company the acquirer wants to understand if the target is competitive. One of the indicators is how the target compares with its peers, whether in sector, geography or size in terms of security. This assessment allows the acquirer to understand where the target sits in comparison to its competitors and market expectations

(4) What are the future capital and operational requirements?
One of the biggest considerations is how much money will need to be invested into any newly acquired entity and what form that will take. Providing indicative costings or effort estimations allows the acquirer to factor this into its post-close roadmap and adjust its business case for the acquisition accordingly.

(5) What are the key security considerations for integration planning?
Providing insight into what needs to be done within the first 30, 90 and 180 days helps ensure execution is swift and comprehensive. This, in turn, ensures risk is appropriately managed and return on investment maximised.

It’s not just the general move towards a reliance on technology that will see a greater demand for cyber security due diligence.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into force in May 2018, and companies that suffer security breaches will face significantly higher fines than they do now – as well as stricter requirements around data processing and storage.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can currently issue fines up to a maximum of £500,000. Post-GDPR this will rise to €20m or four per cent of a company’s global turnover – whichever is higher.

We predict these risks will drive key behavioural changes in acquirers and investors pre-close. These will go beyond simply wanting to get warranties from sellers or tick-box compliance validation during due diligence

Instead, we expect to see a deep focus on discovery and validation in a range of strategic and operational risk and security functions due to the increased risk of exposure to regulators, litigation and other punitive responses.

Acquirers will more likely want to discover the unknowns or latent compromises; where there has been a breach that has not yet been discovered. The reason for this focus is the risk to the acquirer of facing a significant fine if a breach is subsequently found or happens once they have acquired the company because of poor technical or organisational controls. Acquiring a breached company, even with warranties in place, will make potential buyers extremely uneasy.

GDPR will also encourage acquirers to understand the real-world effectiveness of security controls and protective monitoring as opposed to focusing solely on compliance.

This change is in part due to the short-term risk presented by a compromise and resulting breach after deal closure and before any integration is complete.

Validation exercises are also expected to look at the completeness and accuracy of personal information inventories, effectiveness of risk management and security operations functions.

In addition, there is the potential for significant costs post-acquisition to bring the new entity up the level required for compliance with GDPR.

In today’s world, most businesses have a significant dependency on technology. As such, the risk posed by poor cyber security to acquirers and investors is ever present.

As with existing legal, financial and intellectual property due diligence, organisations need to consider security as part of both their pre and post-close activities. Cyber security due diligence is vital for protecting your investment.

Having a better understanding of the potential risks and pitfalls from a technical and cyber perspective will help acquirers to get the most from their investment.

Source: realbusiness

Comments Off on Collaborate & Communicate 2017: Creative Intellect Consulting Q&A

Collaborate & Communicate 2017: Creative Intellect Consulting Q&A

Posted by Admin | July 7, 2017 | Unified Commuication

Founder Bola Rotibi underlines the importance of collaboration in unlocking knowledge

How would you define collaboration in one sentence?
To interact, communicate and work with people or any grouping in order to deliver the desired output.

How important is effective communication to modern business success?
It’s fundamental…and challenging.

What are the key benefits of having the right collaboration and communication strategy in place and acting upon it?
One key benefit is the fact that it offers visibility and transparency in terms of allowing people to know what decisions are made and why they are made. It makes sure that there’s a level of discipline and engagement that comes around through the fact that people are able to know who to go to as well as what is being said. There’s an understanding of any decisions and people also have a means by which to impact or influence a decision.

Conversely, what are the downsides of not getting this right?
The major downside is that it slows things down. It has an impact on agility, speed and quality. It will stall or inhibit companies because knowledge is lost. Access to knowledge is weakened if people don’t understand who or where to go. It can also have an impact on the soft side, in terms of mistrust or barriers between people.

What are companies currently doing well when it comes to collaboration and communication?
The most important thing is that people are recognising that collaboration and communication are important facets of business and getting things done. It’s an important tool for bringing your organisation onto the same page and anticipating issues and challenges.

But collaboration isn’t just about having the tools in place, it’s about having the desire to collaborate. It’s about having processes that help encourage people to collaborate. A tool on its own isn’t going to make you collaborative. We do it well because we have regular meetings in which we are able to quickly push out a question and get an answer back between the team, so things aren’t held up.

What words of advice would you give to others embarking on their collaboration journey?
You need to have everyone on board and you need to figure out what type of collaboration is going to happen. So, what is stopping people from communicating? When something bad happens or there’s a breakdown, you have to ask yourself what the reasons for it were. Breakdowns often happen because you haven’t got the right tools or processes. It doesn’t have to be every minute and it doesn’t have to be scripted, but there needs to be some kind of process that allows and encourages a regular form of communication and collaboration so that people are aware of the chains set in place.

The challenges that I often have in terms of my organisation is that sometimes it’s like a hub-and-spoke model, so it all goes to one person rather than a network. And the danger of a hub-and-spoke is that you have a single point of failure.

Who in the organisation should be taking the lead when it comes to choosing the right tools and implementing them successfully?
Everyone. There are different forms and layers of collaboration. When it comes to the tools specifically, there needs to be leadership in terms of management for determining things like how managers should communicate with each other, how team leaders want to communicate with their teams, and how the hierarchy wants to communicate. If it’s something regarding internal communications then that might be somebody in HR at a larger organisation.

I think everyone asks ‘should it be the IT people? Well, no. The IT people are the people that provide the solution. But the people that want the information are the leaders of the various disciplines, so the action has got to come from them. Whether that be your marketing lead or your IT lead, there just needs to be some sort of leadership team that agrees on the kind of communication hierarchy that should happen. There may be many people that are involved in the decision process, but there will be different owners depending on what that communication is aiming to achieve.

Where do you see the market and adoption of communication and collaboration tools headed? What innovation do you think is on the horizon, or indeed, much needed?
Well, nothing can go past without mention of AI or analytics and cognitive technology. Anyone that has an email account inside an organisation will know that there is little time to do anything and there is a lot of information and a lot of people calling on your time. So the challenge is always how to organise things. How do you ensure that you’re in the right communication stream?

The big thing that’s coming up is a cognitive and analytic machine learning solution to this problem. It needs to be able to manage all of the various communication channels by putting some sort of sense to the kind of communications that are happening and then grouping them into things that make it easier to surface and distribute the important and relevant collaborations and communications to the various parties.

There’s also a lot of work being done on how people can be more productive in their workplace environment in terms of their day-to-day communication and team collaboration. So there’s a lot of focus around analytic support to help people manage their time and productivity and ensure that the right communication and collaboration is happening.

What will successful corporate collaboration and communication look like in five or 10 years from now?
If you look back five years ago at how things looked, we had instant messaging and Skype, we had various tools. But, in five years time, have they been integrated? No, they haven’t. So, maybe we’ll just get better at what we’re doing now. Maybe we’ll actually get proper integration.

In one respect, unless things are sorted, I think successful collaboration could be just as complex and just as hard because things come in and out of fashion. Five years ago, Slack was nowhere and now, everyone has Slack. But the next big thing is coming.

In five years’ time, if you’re looking at unified communications, I think there will be much more analytical support and better visibility in terms of where people are or what they are doing so that they can be reached more easily. There will be better ways for sorting out relevant information. Content management systems like Box and SharePoint will still be key players in terms of the way that people collaborate and share information.

Why should people attend our collaboration event to hear you speak?
We will provide an insight for multiple organisations and we’ll surface some of the solid working practices that are being achieved by organisations as well as some of the lessons learned in the process.

We will differ because we will bring a cross-organisation perspective for bringing the technical audience into the collaboration work chain, which hasn’t always been the case.

As organisations look to be more technologically driven, it’s a case of bringing those who are providing and developing the applications into supporting the business’s collaboration workload.

Is there anything else you would like to add on this topic?
I remember when I was an engineer and we used to have videoconferencing, and it was really awful. Now we’ve got Google Hangouts and all sorts of video things and over time, the cost of it has come down and the capability and quality has gone up.

It’s an evolving topic, and every generation brings new technologies and capabilities to interact. It’s never done, so people need to keep their ears to the ground and be open-minded as things are changing.

Source: itpro

Comments Off on BT’s EE Demos Europe’s First Gigabit LTE Service

BT’s EE Demos Europe’s First Gigabit LTE Service

Posted by Admin | July 6, 2017 | Telecoms

The operator became the first telco to demonstrate commercial Gigabit LTE services in Europe after deploying the technology in London’s Tech City and Cardiff (pictured, above), but it has unveiled plans to rollout the service to the rest of the UK. Demonstrating the technology at Wembley, which EE sponsors, the BT-owned telco teamed with chipset-maker Qualcomm and Japanese electronics firm Sony. Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium is the only Category 16 compliant handset available in Europe. In demonstrations to gathered journalists, including GTB, the handset hit stable download throughput speeds of between 600 and 700Mbps. Speaking at the event, EE head of network communications Howard Jones admitted the operator has no plans to deploy the service everywhere, instead focussing on the most densely populated areas of its network. Jones added: “Looking back at Cat 6 (two bands -1800MHz and 2600MHz), we now have just shy of 3,000 sites enabled with that covering 150 towns and cities across the UK.

Jones also explained that there would be no premium charged for customers looking to use it, although it would initially only be available to customers using EE’s 4G Max tariff. “The service is live now,” he said. “Our tariff structure now is 4G, 4G Extra and 4G Max. Max plans get the best of the network that is available to them at the time. It will be integrated into those plans, with no caps.” A Gigabit World Australia’s Telstra debuted the world’s first commercial gigabit LTE network and device last October with partners Ericsson, Qualcomm and Netgear. It is deploying the service in select locations across the country, while T-Mobile US has also discussed potential deployments.

EE was the first network in the UK to support ‘Cat 9’ mobile devices, in September 2016, and is extending its network leadership by being the first to support ‘Cat 16’ mobile devices with Gigabit LTE. Tom Bennett, Director of Network Services and Devices at EE, said: “Peak speeds get all the headlines, and their importance is simple: the higher the peak speed on our network, the better the average speed for every customer. And better average throughput means customers are doing more and getting their content more quickly and more consistently – and that means they’re happier.  “We will keep investing to stay at the cutting edge of network and device technology so that our customers keep getting the best possible network experience.

Working with the best technology companies across the mobile industry is vital to that.” Gigabit LTE is enabled by LTE Advanced features including 4×4 MIMO, 3xCA (Three Carrier Aggregation) and 256-QAM higher order modulation. Gigabit LTE capability, which has been pioneered by Qualcomm Technologies is an essential pillar for the 5G mobile experience as the high-speed coverage layer that co-exists and interworks with nascent 5G networks. In one demonstration, EE and Qualcomm also highlighted how Gigabit LTE will benefit not only users connected to a Cat 16 connection but also other 4G users. It achieves this by processing data for Cat 16 devices faster, reducing congestion on the network, improving speeds and reliability for other users.

EE is able to launch the Gigabit LTE service using its 2600MHz spectrum band. The operator has come under fire from rival Three for possessing too great a share of the UK’s spectrum allowance. It uses advanced mobile technology such as 4×4 MIMO and 256-QAM – both techologies of which are expected to be used in future 5G deployments. When asked about the possibility of using unlicensed spectrum to boost its deployment, Jones said EE doesn’t need to at this time: “We’re lucky enough to have a good sized block of continuous high frequency spectrum so at the moment we don’t need to, but that’s not to say we wouldn’t look at it further on.”

Source: globaltelecomsbusiness

Comments Off on UK Test Centre For Government’s Cyber Security Rules

UK Test Centre For Government’s Cyber Security Rules

Posted by Admin | July 4, 2017 | IT Security

TÜV SÜD United Kingdom has achieved Certified Body status for test and validation of IT systems.

The Cyber Essentials programme is also important for organisations taking the appropriate risk mitigation steps to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Organisations in non-compliance with the GDPR after 25th May 2018 could face heavy fines of up to four per cent of annual global turnover in the event of a data breach.

Ewan Fisher, operations manager at Glasgow-based TÜV SÜD UK, writes:

“Cyber criminals target every size of organisation, both large and small. Cyber Essentials helps them to combat cyber attacks, the majority of which exploit basic IT system vulnerabilities.”

According to the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017: Just under half (46%) of all UK businesses identified at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last twelve months. This rises to two-thirds among medium firms (66%) and larger firms (68%).

The standard covers five key areas:

Secure configuration – security measures that are implemented when building and installing computers and network devices in order to reduce unnecessary vulnerabilities.

Boundary firewalls and internet gateways – provide a basic level of protection where a user connects to the Internet.

Access control and administrative privilege management – protects user accounts and helps to prevent misuse of privileged accounts.

Patch management – ensures that software on computers and network devices is up to date and capable of resisting low-level attacks.

Malware protection – protects against a broad range of malware (including computer viruses, worms, spyware, botnets and ransomware)

Source: electronicsweekly

Comments Off on BT Integrates Cisco Spark Into Collaboration Platform

BT Integrates Cisco Spark Into Collaboration Platform

Posted by Admin | July 4, 2017 | Unified Commuication

BT has embedded Cisco Spark into its own voice services to create BT One Collaborate Spark, a tool to help teams work better together, whatever devices they’re using.

The platform combines Cisco’s Spark collaboration tools with the voice capabilities of the BT One Cloud Cisco platform including team messaging, online meetings, voice and video calling and interactive drawing.

Collaboration and communication is at the heart of making your business more efficient. Register for IT Pro’s event on 11 July in London to find out how you can take your business to the next level.

Because calls are routed via Spark rather than the company’s network, local, national and international calls are cheaper and it provides a better experience for end users, making employees more productive too.

“Our research shows that improving collaboration across the business is one of the key factors in determining the success of digital transformation,” Andrew Small, vice president of unified communications and collaboration, customer relationship management and mobility at BT’s Global services division, said.

“BT One Collaborate Spark helps our customers create productive digital environments for their employees while reducing the cost of international calls. It gives their employees the ability to collaborate more simply and intuitively regardless of where they are or what devices they’re using.”

The solution is available as a native iOS app or for other specialist desktop and room-based collaboration devices, including the 55in Cisco Spark Board, which doubles up as a digital whiteboard and video conferencing tool.

Users can easily switch between Spark-enabled devices, BT said, for example from an iPhone to a Spark Board to a room-based collaboration device, with the platform automatically recognising other Spark-equipped equipment for seamless streaming.

“Cisco and BT have enjoyed a successful relationship for over 25 years bringing together our expertise to offer innovation to cloud-based collaboration tools,” said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of IoT and applications at Cisco.

“We’re delighted that BT customers will now be able to message, meet, and call anyone, anywhere, anytime, through this intuitive, complete collaboration Spark service.”

Source: cloudpro

Comments Off on What Is BT Openreach? Everything You Need To Know

What Is BT Openreach? Everything You Need To Know

Posted by Admin | July 4, 2017 | Telecoms

If you haven’t heard of Openreach you won’t be alone. But you will have heard of BT, BT Broadband and BT Infinity. 

Openreach is a huge division of BT, or British Telecommunications PLC, now known as BT Group. BT Openreach was established in 2006, owns the telecommunications pipework and phone cables in the UK, and employs 32,000 people. 
Essentially Openreach owns the entire UK phone and broadband network – and those 32,000 employees are very busy, making around 9.5 million visits to homes and businesses a year; 25,000 per day. 

The rest of BT, like other phone providers such as TalkTalk and Sky, are essentially ‘customers’ that have equal access to the Openreach network. Virgin Media isn’t included because it does not use the copper network – it has its own cable network. 

What does Openreach do? 

Openreach manages the UK’s local access network – this is what connects your house, the place you work and the shop down the road to the local telephone exchange and everything in between. The green cabinets you see in the street that handle ASDL broadband or phone lines? Openreach owns those. 

Openreach also manages the connection between the phone lines and the other providers that connect up in the exchange.

Why does Openreach exist?

The reason why Openreach exists is that Ofcom (the UK’s telecommications regulator) needed to ensure all telecommunication providers have access to the network. The problem was that the network was owned by one major company – BT – that, naturally, was the market leader. 

As other companies were – quite reasonably – keen to get in on the act during the early days of ADSL broadband, the need arose for the network to be somehow separated from BT’s phone services division. After Ofcom’s 2005 Telecommunications Strategic Review (TSR), the solution was the establishment of Openreach, even though it remained under full ownership of BT. 

Over 500 different companies now sell services that run via the Openreach network. 

What is happening now?

Fast forward to today and Openreach is undergoing change – BT Group agreed in March 2017 that it would spin Openreach off as a legally separate company. This was, once again, in response to a demand from Ofcom. This is happening because the arrangement – where Openreach was owned by BT Group – wasn’t working wholly well. 

There have been some successes, not least the post-2010 rollout of an £800 million fibre network that has revolutionised non-cable internet connection speeds in the UK. 

However, Openreach has come under criticism in Parliament and elsewhere. Rollout of fibre has been slower than was originally promised, while network investment has not been to the level it should have been, notably in rural areas – where network speeds continue to lag behind Ofcom’s minimum target of 10Mbps. This still affects over three million customers in the UK.

Customer complaints via service providers have been high (we personally know several people have have had bad experiences when moving provider or getting new lines installed or repaired because of delays from Openreach). Customers can’t contact Openreach directly, because they have to go through their service provider. Ofcom also fined BT £42 million in early 2017 for regulatory breaches over compensation payments to other telecoms providers for work that was completed late.

Getting faster internet 

Ofcom believes there will be more investment in the broadband network through Openreach being a legally separate company. Hopefully it may also mean cheaper broadband deals for you, the consumer. 

Without a vested interest from BT, the hope is that there will be more independent consideration regarding investment in the network. BT dragged its heels over the situation in early 2017, but suddenly ceded to Ofcom’s demands before the regulator had chance to take the case to the European Commission. However, it’s worth noting that BT Group will still own Openreach but it will have independence. 

One of the ways the network investment could happen is by Openreach co-investing with different key partners in particular areas; previously it could only really upgrade the network if BT thought it was worthwhile (usually if there were enough people who wanted to pay for faster broadband). 

But there is some network investment already underway. Very recently Openreach has experimented with G.fast, which enables the company to bolt on a pod to existing green fibre cabinets to offer next-gen fibre broadband speeds using existing copper phone lines – up to 330Mbps.

BT had already committed to give two million customers full fibre connections into their homes and businesses. Currently Openreach’s network is FTTC – or Fibre to the Cabinet, again these are the green boxes you see on street corners. The connections from there to your home are traditional copper phone lines. By bringing fibre to your premises (or FTTP), consumers will be able to experience much higher speeds – up to around 1Gbps.

Source: techradar