Wednesday, 8 April 2020

TIPS FOR PHONE CLEANING - 08 April 2020

 
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PHONE CLEANING TIPS
These tips are intended as a guide only, remember that it is an electrical device and electrical devices and water do not mix.

Electrical voltages will be present in your phone even if switched off as it will most likely contain a battery.

DO NOT USE cleaning products like bleach or other items from the kitchen cupboard as these will be to harsh and abrasive. You want to remove the dirt and any germs not the writing and top layer of the plastic!

Gloves are recommended especially if you are cleaning many devices or if you are allergic to any of the cleaning materials mentioned.

BASIC CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS
1. Before you start, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
2. Turn off the handset, unplug any power or connecting leads 
3. Wipe with a dry cloth or one moistened with a mild soap solution
4. Do not exert excess pressure or rub roughly
5. For spot cleaning, use mild detergent on a soft cloth or cotton bud and gently wipe
6. DO NOT USE kitchen towel, it is too harsh and can scratch displays, always use soft cloth

ADVANCED CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS
1. In most cases Isopropyl alcohol or Ethanol may be applied with a soft cloth
2. Apply disinfectant on a soft cloth and gently wipe the handset or use cleaning wipes
3. DO NOT USE cleaner and disinfectant containing skin moisturiser or corrosive components
4. DO NOT RUB the keys vigourously with alcohol or disinfectant as this may cause damage
5. After cleaning always dry the handset with a soft cloth
6. DO NOT USE kitchen towel, it is too harsh and can scratch displays, always use soft cloth

IP RATINGS (Ingress Protection)
Your phone may have an IP rating, but it does not mean that you can wet your phone, see IP rating definitions below. If your phone has a lower IP rating keep it away from water:

IP65 Protected from total dust ingress
Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction, limited ingress protection
IP66 Protected from total dust ingress
Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction, limited ingress protection
IP67 Protected from total dust ingress
Protected from immersion between 15 centimetres and 1 metre in depth, limited ingress protection
IP68 Protected from total dust ingress
Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure, limited ingress protection

You could clean headsets in the same way but be very careful not to wet the mic or speakers as they are not designed for water
Headbands and earpads can be wiped down with a soft cloth moistened with a mild soap solution

If you have any queries about any aspect of your phones or working from home please do not hesitate to contact us.

Stay safe.

Regards

Peter Savic

Peter Savic
Plum Communications Limited
For service please contact us by email service@plumcom.co.uk or telephone 01616223500.


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Friday, 3 April 2020

Data Security 3 April 2020


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DATA SECURITY
 
Here are some suggestions and free trials to keep your data safe whilst working from home.





FIREWALL AND VPN
We can provide you with a free review of your Firewall and Virtual Private Network (VPN) requirements. VPN is used to allow staff to work from home whilst accessing PCs and other network resources at the office.
 
FREE ACRONIS CLOUD BACKUP
Customer new to Acronis can have free Cloud backup until end of July 2020 at which time they can either continue with the service at current rate or cancel the service.
 
FREE CLOUD SERVER
Any new Entry level or Standard level Cloud Server and VPN will be offered free of charge until 26th July 2020. With no commitments or contracts following this date and the Cloud Server can be removed at any time.
 
BITDEFENDER
Block cyber-attacks better than any other security solution with Bitdefender GravityZone. Protect against ransomware, viruses and malware to prevent computer slowdowns and manage them easily within the GravityZone portal. Assign policies and adapt them to location, customise filters to block sensitive information and distribute updates directly inside the network. An industry-leading, trusted solution that gives peace of mind. Offered free for customers new to Bitdefender until 26 July 2020.
 
MICROSOFT TEAMS FREE TRIAL
To show their support during this pandemic, Microsoft is offering its paid version of Microsoft Teams for six months, for free. Quickly and easily share documents, conduct team video calls and more, free of charge.
 
TREND MICRO INTERNET SECURITY FREE LICENCES
Free 60 day temporary licenses of Worry-Free Services. With many customers now forced to work from home, you may find that they are using unsecured machines and networks. Trend would like to offer additional licenses of Worry-Free Services FOR FREE for 60 days with the option to extend if necessary, so you can continue to maintain and manage a secure customer base. 
Free 6 month licenses of Trend Micro™ Maximum Security. If you have staff currently working from home using their personal computers, Trend would like to provide your employees with 6 months free access to their consumer internet security product, Trend Micro Maximum Security. Sign up to receive a product download URL that you can share with your employees.      
 
TREND MICRO PHISH INSIGHT
Free access to campaigns to simulate phish attacks in the organisation. No software to install Phish Insight is a SaaS-based phishing awareness tool. With Phish Insight, there is no need for special software. You can access Phish Insight via a standard web browser.
COVID-19 Phishing email simulations. Cybercriminals like to take advantage of items in the news to exploit fear and bad actors have been deploying different waves of COVID-19 phishing emails. Train your employees to stay secure during these very difficult times.
Cybersecurity training for employees working from home. The huge shift to working from home practices means that many companies may have employees who are unable to secure family devices and networks as well as keeping sensitive information secure at home.
 
CAMERA SYSTEMS
Physical security is important. You may need cameras to cover unoccupied offices or for personnel and lone worker safety. Modern camera systems allow remote monitoring and recording. You may also require door entry camera to see who is calling and answer without having to open the door to strangers. Some of the systems are suitable for self-installation, others require engineer installation which we can arrange.
 
 For information on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 
Enjoy the weekend and keep safe.
 

Peter Savic

Peter Savic
Plum Communications Limited
For service please contact us by email service@plumcom.co.uk or telephone 01616223500.

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Thursday, 2 April 2020

Cost Reduction 2 April 2020




COST REDUCTION

In these uncertain times you may have reduced or no employees at the office and have adopted home working.



With a likely reduction in income over the coming months, keeping a check on costs or even reducing them is critical.

Here is our suggestion for reducing costs:

REDUCE TRAVEL
Maybe this is already a given with the government advice on none essential travel but consider why you were travelling and whether your work can be carried out remotely via conference call.
Many of our vendors are offering three trials of their video conferencing solutions. The can in many cases be deployed using laptops so everyone can have the capability of holding a video conference.
 
WORK FROM HOME
There is an armoury of tools to help you work from home and our vendors have offered free trials of most our services so you can now implement a 25 seat call centre or telephone system for your home workers at no cost. If you already have a telephone system from us we may be able to provide temporary home working features at no cost.
 
REDUCE YOUR UTILITY BILLS
If you do not take your telephone services from Plum then now is a good time to obtain a quotation for changing to us. We provide a wide range of services and can help you consolidate your billing.
Now is an ideal time to source your gas and electricity supplies as prices are currently low. You can obtain quotes for several years and lock into the current prices. Send us a copy of you latest gas or electricity bill and we can provide you with market quotations.
 
REDUCE YOUR PLUM COSTS
If you already take services from us check if any are not required or can be hibernated. We are happy to discuss options including reduction of channel quantities or tariff downgrades. If you are considering closing branches speak to us as we can enable smooth transfer of any required telephone numbers. 
 
REVIEW YOU HOSTING COSTS
If you are paying for hosting or email services elsewhere check what you would pay with Plum. Just contact us with details of your current services and we can supply a comparative quotation.
 
Tomorrow we will look at how you can keep your data secure and some more free offers.
 
We are here to help, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.
 
Tomorrow I will provide ideas of how we can help you to reduce costs.
 
For service please contact us by email service@plumcom.co.uk or telephone 01616223500.

Please stay safe.


Peter Savic

Peter Savic
Plum Communications Limited

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Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Remote Working 1 April 2020


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REMOTE WORKING



It is April already and many will be experiencing their second full week of working from home.





Last week we had an enormous number of requests to set up home working or provide call diversions. This week it is much quieter and the number of requests has slowed down.



The majority of our customers not classed as critical services appear to have either furloughed their staff or asked them to work from home in accordance with the government’s recommendation.



However not all will be aware of the services that are available to ensure that businesses can still communicate efficiently whilst working from home so here is a quick summary.





CALL DIVERSION

In its simplest form available on all analogue lines, dial *21* (number) # to set divert to the number and #21# to cancel the diversion. May not work from certain phones or behind a switchboard, if you need 9 for a line then the number in this case would be (9 + number). If message says service not available or you are struggling to set up contact us and we can add the service for you.



REMOTE CALL DIVERSION (SMART DIVERT)

Includes call diversion but also includes ability to set divert from anywhere by dialling an access number and PIN. Most business lines will already have this but if you do not have the access number or PIN please contact us for the details.



TWINNING

Twinning can be added to most of our systems, this means that a mobile handset can ring at the same time as the office phone. If you do not have this please speak to us to discuss options.



REMOTE WORKER

Includes twinning feature but also has the ability to make outbound calls by clicking in a web portal.

Outbound calls are billed to the company not the homeowner and the outgoing calls show the office number.



APP (MOBILE or DESKTOP)

Apps are available for most of our systems. They allow you to answer and make calls as though you were in the office. On a mobile you would use the built in mic and speaker, on a laptop or PC you would require headset. Free trials are available of some of our apps.



IP PHONE (TAKE YOUR WORKPHONE HOME)

This has worked for many customers, however please be aware that you will require a suitable internet connection, power supply and a cable to connect to the router. You may need to disable SIP ALG on the router. Some ISPs block voice on their connections so please test this and contact us if you require assistance.



IVR AND VOICEMAIL

With all the above we can add IVR (auto attendant) and voicemail to ensure that callers are routed to the correct person and so they can leave messages when staff are not available.



NEW SERVICES

If you would like to use the above features but your current system does not support it please contact us as we can provide free trials. Some customers have taken full hosted systems so their staff can continue working from home.



Hopefully that has all made sense and you will have enough information to understand how to enable remote working for your employees. If you require more assistance please call or email us.



Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any help with anything discussed here



Tomorrow I will provide ideas of how we can help you to reduce costs.



For service please contact us by email service@plumcom.co.uk or telephone 01616223500.



Please stay safe.





Peter Savic



Peter Savic
Plum Communications Limited

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Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Offers to help you work remotely 31 March 2020

Planning for homeworking can be a challenge especially if you have been thrown in at the deep end.
Here is our lifebelt of support.



NEVER MISS A CALL WITH THESE SUGGESTIONS

CALL DIVERSION AND TWINNING
Simple but straightforward, divert your calls to a mobile, landline or our voicemail service so you never miss a call.

HORIZON COLLABORATE TRIAL LICENCES
Instal the app on your desktop to have all the features of your desk phone at home or in the garden.

AVAYA REMOTE WORKING TRIAL LICENCES
Remote working for your Avaya system, take and make calls at home as though in the office. Licence availability depends on system version.


VENDORS HAVE RUSHED TO THE SUPPORT OF BUSINESS WITH FREE TRIALS OF THEIR REMOTE WORKING AND CLOUD BASED SOLUTIONS

FREE HOSTED TELEPHONE SYSTEM TRIAL
Trial full featured hosted telephones at home or in the office, works with apps or IP handsets.

AVAYA SPACES 2 MONTHS TRIAL
Collaboration including, video meetings, screen sharing, chat, file and content sharing.

FREE MICROSOFT TEAMS 6 MONTHS TRIAL
Remote working is more important than ever. This trial enables you to quickly and easily share documents, conduct team video calls and more, for free.

FREE OFFICE 365 E1 6 MONTHS TRIAL
A great product to help employees work from home smoothly. And to help businesses, Microsoft is currently offering Office 365 E1 free for 6 months.

FREE ACRONIS BACKUP UNTIL JULY
To ensure you can protect your data take the 3 Months Free Acronis Backup Offer, meaning your data is safe over this period.

FREE CLOUD SERVER AND VPN UNTIL JULY
Ideal for those who are struggling for access to on-premise servers, or simply need a quick solution for sharing and accessing documents. There's no minimum terms and you can still add or remove servers as and when you wish.

FREE TREND MAXIMUM SECURITY FOR 6 MONTHS
Trend Micro Maximum Security free for 6 months, a consumer security product for your personal Microsoft® Windows® or Mac computer (one device per download).

All offers valid as at 31 March 2020. Please check for current availability.

For service please contact us by email service@plumcom.co.uk or telephone 01616223500.

Please stay safe.


Peter Savic

Peter Savic
Plum Communications Limited

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Monday, 30 March 2020

COVID-19 RESPONSE 30 March 2020


Our services provide a critical connection and we will continue to provide these.

To keep employees safe, some are home working and others are on furlough.
Visits to customer premises are on hold except for critical services and emergencies.
We continue to accept and fulfil orders for new services and hardware.
If you are a customer needing help to set up home working or call diversion please contact us.
Our offices are closed to visitors and we cannot accept mail or deliveries at the office.
For service please contact us by email service@plumcom.co.uk or telephone 01616223500.

Please stay safe.


Peter Savic

Peter Savic
Plum Communications Limited

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