Supporting our customers with Remote Working Technology and Communication Services
As we near the end of the second week of lockdown and transition to remote working, we’d like to wish you, your families and your businesses all the very best and we hope that you are safe and well over the coming weeks and months. We realise it’s not an easy time right now and businesses are working hard to safeguard their futures. That’s why we are exploring everything we can do to support you during this time and we will keep you updated throughout.
We are here to help you
Since we switched to remote working a week before the official UK lockdown, we have provided free Mobile Apps and PC and Mac Soft Phones for all of our Horizon VoIP system customers so they can effortlessly take their office call handling home. We provided Horizon Collaborate free of charge for 3 months so that customers can communicate better internally and externally using voice, video, chat, conferencing, screen and file sharing whilst they are at home. We have also delivered a free audio conference service for up to 20 participants and we have also been busy setting up remote access and IT services for many customers. We have even more to announce to help you transition to remote working more efficiently and cost-effectively over the coming days and weeks and we will keep you updated.
The need for better home broadband for remote working
We’ve realised that not all home broadband is equal over the last few weeks and we’ve been busy helping customers optimise their home broadband services. To help customers with short-term broadband needs, we’ve launched a new, unlimited 4G Mobile Broadband service which will help customers on poor home broadband connections. It certainly helped me this week when my home broadband connection went down. I was able to operate my Remote Desktop Connection and Horizon Apps over the 4G service without any disruption.
“To help customers with short-term broadband needs, we’ve launched a new, unlimited 4G Mobile Broadband service which will help customers on poor home broadband connections.”
Is Remote Working the new normal for many?
Although this situation is new to all of us, several things are already quite clear. Firstly, working at home can be both fantastic and incredibly difficult. For anyone trying to juggle looking after children and still putting in a full shift at work I feel your pain. On the flip side, on those days when work and home life seem to coexist in harmony, then all the positives of remote working are plain to see. I’m sure the jury is still out for some businesses that have not experienced remote working before, but if you do get it right there are some huge benefits for your business and employees in the future. If you would like some guidance or advice on remote working, whether it’s about policy, best practice or the right technology to use, please feel free to contact us as this is precisely what we deliver, day-in and day-out.
Poor home broadband ruining your productivity?
Are you struggling for bandwidth at home? Good broadband underpins everything we do at home as a remote worker. We know that a poor broadband service will drain productivity and end up being incredibly frustrating if a user can’t get things done as quickly as when they are in the office. On top of that, mums and dads working from home have to compete for bandwidth with their children who may be using a wide range of Internet-based apps throughout a normal working day.
If you are suffering from poor home broadband, call us to find out about our 4G Mobile Broadband solution. We can supply unlimited 4G Mobile Broadband on either o2 or Vodafone for as little as £30.00 per month on a 3-month contract term. We also provide very small, portable, Mi-Fi wireless router devices which allow any of your devices to connect to your very own 4G hotspot. Click on the button below to send an enquiry to the Customer Service Team or call us on 0333 240 7755.
“Everyone in your household is competing for bandwidth right now. If you need a dedicated, short-term broadband solution, a 4G Mi-Fi bundle could be your answer.”
Free Fax2Email Service
Believe it or not, there are some business sectors that still use fax, including NHS procurement and legal and financial services. Some businesses have been left without their traditional office-based fax services when they had to hastily transition to remote working. We can provide a solution that delivers faxes straight to your inbox and if you want to send faxes from your email client you can do this as well. We are offering Fax2email services without any set up or rental charges until the end of June. Click on the button below to send an enquiry to the Customer Service Team or call us on 0333 240 7755 to enable access to this service.
Free Conference Service
We are offering a free to use Audio Conference Service for the entirety of the pandemic. There are no set up costs, no rental charges and no contract for up to 20 participants per call. As most home workers use mobile devices, the conference call number is an 0330 number which is included in most mobile minute bundles, so there won’t be any call charges incurred to dial our free conference service. Click on the button below to send an enquiry to the Customer Service Team or call us on 0333 240 7755 to enable access to this service.Free Conference Service
Calls to 101 non-emergency service now free of charge
Until now, calls to 101 (non-emergency service) have been chargeable calls. With effect from March 1st, 2020, calls to 101 are now free of charge from fixed lines and mobile devices. The move, announced by the Home Office on Tuesday, comes as police prepare for the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Callers to the 101 non-emergency number were connected to their local police force, or a force of their choice, and charged 15p a time previously.
Openreach back in business
Openreach, the national infrastructure operator for all Communications Providers including Columbus UK, had to pause certain activities last week as some departments located in India were closed due to the Indian government’s lockdown. Openreach has subsequently advised that operations such as Telephone Number Porting are fully functioning again.
“Some Openreach activities were disrupted last week due to the closure of offices in India but Openreach have reported that operations are now returning to normal.”
This is important as we’ve seen many customers wanting to move their older, fixed line services and telephone numbers to more flexible, cloud-based VoIP systems more suitable for remote working. We’ve also seen an increase in demand for new line and broadband orders for remote working. Openreach also paused some of their fixed line provisioning activities, instead focusing on repair and maintenance of their network as the Coronavirus situation escalated last week. However they are now able to deliver line services so if you need new lines and broadband to support your home workers, please do get in touch with us. Please be aware that delivery of new lines and broadband services may be subject to longer lead times whilst Openreach prioritises work.
Get in touch if you need assistance
Our Customer Service Team is operating as normal. You can contact us during our standard opening hours of 9am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday using our usual channels (email, phone – 0333 240 7755 or live chat via our web site). Our out-of-hours team will operate as normal too.
Kind regards and stay safe,
Jason George and the Columbus Team