High quality hosted VoIP now available to small businesses

Thousands of small and medium-sized businesses will be able to benefit from hosted high quality VoIP services for the first time thanks to a deal between the ISP Lyndos.net and the publicly-funded Digital Region super-fast broadband project.

The deal between the internet service provider Lyndos and Digital Region will bring cheap and versatile phone services previously only available to large corporations within the budget of companies of any size.

It will make use of the 500km of fibre optic cables being laid across South Yorkshire through the £100m Digital Region project.

In the past only companies with 100 or more employees could realistically use high quality internet phones – or VoIP – because it involved laying fibre optic cables into a building. VoIP over the public internet is not practical because of poor voice quality due to network latency and contention.

The 500km of fibre optic cables being laid for the South Yorkshire Digital Region project, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Yorkshire Forward and the four local authorities in South Yorkshire, will make it cost-effective for companies with only a few employees to use the technology.

Mike Hall, Chief Operating Officer of Lyndos, said: “The benefits of having a hosted VoIP system are huge; the calls are significantly cheaper than from conventional landlines, there is no capital expenditure, no line rental and you can get a tremendous number of features such as call recording, diverting calls and phone systems across multiple sites. You simply pay a fixed fee per handset and can add more handsets without having to upgrade your system.”

Another development will allow university students living in private rented accommodation to benefit from faster and fairer internet services than ever before. Lyndos has devised a service to give a guaranteed bandwidth to each student living in a shared house.

Thousands of students at Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University will benefit from the service, thanks to a deal between Digital Region and Lyndos Xtranet.

Mike Hall said: “Currently students living in shared houses share bandwidth, which means that if one student downloads music and movies, others in the house will not have the internet capacity they need to do their work.

“We did market research among student landlords and found that broadband services were the number one concern students had with their houses. Some students had to work at 3am just to get enough bandwidth to do their university work.”

Lyndos Xtranet will give each student their own guaranteed 6Meg download capacity, more than ample to do their work, which will be unaffected by the activities of anyone else in their house.

Those who want to upgrade to higher bandwidth for heavy use, such as downloading movies and music or using games consoles, will be able to do so without affecting their housemates.

“This is great news and another significant step forward for the region’s digital presence,” said David Carr, CEO, Digital Region Ltd.  “We’re extremely pleased that another ISP has seen value in joining up to our next generation broadband network.

“It is extremely positive for everyone that they feel Digital Region can give them such a strong portfolio of services for both businesses and consumers.

“With the network build progressing as it is there are already more than 16,000 premises ready to be connected, and having Lyndos as a Digital Region service provider only serves to enhance our proposition.”

Jim Farmery, Assistant Director of Business at Yorkshire Forward, said: “Digital Region gives the Yorkshire and Humber region a head-start in the race for high-speed internet access, and will prove a major asset to those businesses who sign up to the service offered by Lyndos.

“It will also be an extra attraction to any businesses looking at locating premises in our region, which in turn will stimulate the local economy.”

The Digital Region network, built and managed by Thales UK, is designed to support a potential revolution in the delivery of wholesale broadband services to South Yorkshire, delivering consumer and businesses related services across the region together with enhancing social care, health and education services.  Thales UK, in partnership with DRL, commenced the construction works in 2009 and is scheduled to complete the building of the ‘fibre-to-the-street cabinet’ network to over 1,500 locations across the entire region by 2012.

For more information on Lyndos services, please visit www.lyndos.net

About Lyndos

Lyndos.net provides Voice, Application and Data connectivity services to UK businesses. Utilising secure and resilient network, Lyndos.net can delivery scalable and flexible fibre and wireless connections anywhere.

Services include high-speed Internet, SIP Trunks (VoIP phone services) with significantly cheaper call rates, Business Continuity Solutions, Hosted Telephony (like an in-house phone system but with zero capital outlay), Hosted Applications (software as a service), Private Mobile Networks, private phone cards and Managed Office services.

Lyndos.net provides fully tailored mix-n-match services to create unique solutions to any connectivity challenge.

Lyndos.net Hosted Solutions, including VoIP telephone systems, mean simple cost per user on-demand – avoiding large capital outlays upfront.

All supported by in-depth pre-sales technical advise and first class support end-to-end.

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About Turtle Consulting Group

Turtle Consulting Group is a PR Company that specialise in Tech PR.

Lyndos.net hosts central IT system for Focus Hotels

The Focus Hotels Group has discovered the benefits of a fully-hosted IT solution, providing a central integrated system without the need for in-house technical know-how.

The group is using Lyndos.net to host the property management software Protel, providing centralised reservations, checking in and out, house keeping and all other IT needs across 11 hotels.

The system is run from a remote data centre owned and operated by Lyndos.net, part of the Catalyst Management Group, with applications delivered straight to the PCs of all 56 users in the 11 separate sites.

Focus Hotels, founded in February 2009, has taken over both individual and small groups of 3 and 4 star hotels many of them rescued from administration.

Each hotel had its own ageing IT system which prevented the group from having the level of control and integration needed to survive in today’s competitive market.

The hosted solution saves Focus from needing its own IT department and from the large capital costs in hosting their own IT system.

Instead it pays an all-inclusive monthly rental for a system which is maintained and updated constantly by Lyndos.net.

Mike Hall, Chief Operating Officer for Catalyst Management Group, said: “Most hotels have their own internal IT departments and networks which cost a lot of money to run.

“The old fashioned way of having a multiple of servers and a network of fibres between each hotel is extremely expensive.

“For this hosted Protel system, all you need is an internet connection and PC’s in each hotel. More hotels can be added quickly and easily.

“Many companies are moving towards ‘cloud computing’, where information is held in a remote data centre rather than on an individual PC, and Software As A Service, where they rent a complete service rather than buying their own hardware.

“It saves businesses from all the capital costs and hassles of installing and updating their own system and is much more flexible.

“It means Focus can concentrate on running their hotels without having to worry about the IT.”

Linda Cowdry, Operations Support Manager for Focus Hotels, said: “We decided to use Lyndos.net because of the significant cost and administration advantages versus hosting a central system ourselves, in addition to the security of supply provided by external hosting.

“Our skill is running hotels, not running computer systems. We just want everyone in the hotels to be able to check guests in and out, make reservations and so on without having to worry about what’s going on in the background and provide central management with instant access to the entire hotels network remotely from any location

“If we have any problems, we just make one phone call and it’s dealt with. The joy is not having to deal with any technical issues ourselves.”

There is also an environmental advantage to Lyndos.net’s centralised data centres, because one piece of physical hardware can be used for 10 or 20 virtual servers. This uses only one tenth of the power of having a physical server for each system.

If one piece of hardware fails or needs maintenance work, the networks can be moved to a back-up server without any interruption in service.

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About Turtle Consulting Group

Turtle Consulting Group is a PR Agency that specialises in Tech PR.