Are you scared of taking the plunge into PWANs?

Posted on Sep 20 2017 by Lee Hill | Comments Off on Are you scared of taking the plunge into PWANs?
Categories : Pre-Sales, PWAN, Reselling
Lee Hill

Lee Hill, Pre-Sales Technical Manager

PWANs (or IP VPNs/MPLS as you may prefer to call them) can deliver highly profitable opportunities for resellers as they provide the customer with a complete network solution from a single supplier often with value added services such as VoIP, Firewalls and hosting. However, for many resellers the idea of bidding for a more complex network solution is intimidating and they may not know how or where to start to be able to take full advantage of this growing market. That’s where we come in.

What actually is a PWAN?

PWANs (Private Wide Area Networks) are known throughout the industry under many terms including IP VPNs and even MPLS solutions. The technical truth is that the PWAN or IP VPN (if you prefer) is delivered across an MPLS network rather than being an ‘MPLS’ solution, however the terminology seems to have become somewhat interchangeable. Essentially, the PWAN solution is a complete connectivity network for your customer which can connect multiple sites and offices, include various connectivity technologies such as leased lines, broadband and back-up solutions and additional services such as VoIP, Firewalls and hosting. They are bespoke solutions created to fit a customer’s specific needs and requirements and are usually fully managed and supported with 100% SLAs.

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UPDATE: Where there’s blame there’s a claim – really?

Posted on Mar 28 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on UPDATE: Where there’s blame there’s a claim – really?
Categories : Broadband, Ofcom, Reselling

Last week further details emerged regarding Ofcom’s plans for a broadband compensation scheme. In our previous article (Where there’s blame there’s a claim – really?) we clearly stated a number of concerns we have about this and with the release of the additional information from Ofcom, unfortunately many of those concerns remain.

What are the compensation plans?

When a consumer (specifically a residential consumer or SME) with a domestic fixed line broadband service experiences a fault they would be entitled to claim automatic compensation at set rates eliminating the need for any lengthy or difficult claims processes.

Ofcom states the situations allowable for compensation and set rates are:

  • Delayed repair following loss of service – the service has stopped working and is not fully fixed after two full working days = £10 per calendar day that service is not repaired
  • Delays with start of new service – Promised start date for new service is missed = £6 per calendar day of delay including missed start date.
  • Missed engineer appointment – engineer doesn’t turn up for appointment or the appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice = £30 per missed appointment
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Guest Blog: What will 2017 hold for the industry?

Posted on Feb 07 2017 by Guest | Comments Off on Guest Blog: What will 2017 hold for the industry?
Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

2017 is once again set to be a big year for the industry with significant policy developments on the horizon. In the coming year, the Digital Economy Bill will become law; there will be changes to Ofcom’s General Conditions; and the Investigatory Powers Act will be implemented. There will also be new Government funding for full-fibre broadband and changes to broadband advertising rules – all against a backdrop of Brexit and political instability. In the light of these developments it is incredibly important that the breadth of Internet industry views are heard and that is where we turn to industry bodies such as ISPA, to ensure we have our say. Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General from ISPA informs us of the key areas they are currently involved in and what we should be aware of in 2017.

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Without connectivity DX is dead

Posted on Jan 17 2017 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Without connectivity DX is dead

Although the concept of digital transformation (aka digitisation, digitalisation or DX for short) has been around since as early as 2010, it’s really taken off in the last year, with Google searches for the term reaching a peak in November. It’s more than just a buzzword though; looking beyond the hype you can see the trend of businesses of all sizes “investing in new technology and business models with a specific focus on customer experience”. With this focus on providing the best possible customer experience (who, let’s be honest, vote with their feet) it’s obvious that businesses of all sizes must embrace DX in order to remain competitive. The good news is that, as a communications reseller, you’re in a great position to capitalise on the opportunities that businesses going through their DX journey bring because, quite simply, without connectivity DX is dead.

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Are you ready for the impending snowstorm?

Posted on Jan 11 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Are you ready for the impending snowstorm?

We’re not talking about being ready with your wellies and your sledge here. Rather, Is your business ready for any potential issues the forecasted bad weather could bring? Do you have an effective disaster recovery plan in place in case your comms go down or your staff can’t get into work? Are your customers ready? Or are you going to receive a high volume of calls from potentially disgruntled customers?

You might think “well it’s a bit late talking about this now, the snow is due later this week” but we did warn you back in the summer with our “Help your customers to keep calm & carry on article that describes the ways in which modern technologies can help you and your customers implement effective disaster recovery solutions, take advantage of increased flexibility and resilience and reap the financial rewards.

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Poll: The Internet of Things & The Channel

Posted on Nov 21 2016 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: The Internet of Things & The Channel

The Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t going away – every day businesses across the world are coming up with new and innovative ways of exploiting the opportunities that IoT brings. But we want to know what you think. Are you actively pursuing opportunities that exist in the channel to monetise IoT, or are you more cautious? Let us know by leaving a comment below or taking part in our poll.

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4 key principles that good ISPs uphold

Posted on Nov 02 2016 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on 4 key principles that good ISPs uphold
Categories : Reselling, Resources, Sales, Support

It’s great to see the channel thriving and continuing to grow. More and more businesses see the potential in Britain’s connectivity industry and this can only result in better services for consumers. But if you’re new to the game, how can you differentiate your business and compete in an environment with increasingly pressured margins?

The first thing to note is that you can’t compete on price alone, especially when it comes to data connectivity. If you do this – consistently slashing prices hoping that you’ll make money on volume of sales alone – you’ll quickly find yourself out of business. We’ve seen that resellers are having to sell more circuits at lower margins to grow their businesses; first in the broadband market and now increasingly when it comes to Ethernet too. This means that it’s becoming ever more important to differentiate elsewhere and, in our experience, it’s service where you can really distinguish yourselves from your competition.

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Help your customers to keep calm & carry on

Posted on Aug 16 2016 by Stephen Barclay | Comments Off on Help your customers to keep calm & carry on
Stephen Barclay, Sales Director

Stephen Barclay, Sales Director

The sun might be out at the moment, but with only 20 weeks left of 2016 we’ll very soon find ourselves in the midst of The Great British Winter and the onslaught of bad weather that this usually brings. For the business owner, this can be extremely costly and not just to the bottom line. Lower staff productivity, absenteeism and damage to infrastructure all have a disrupting impact on business continuity.

In fact, the Chartered Management Institute reported that 77% of organisations were adversely affected by the heavy snowfall experienced during the winter of 2012 when 63% of people were unable to go to work because of travel disruption; 46% of people had issues with school closures/childcare; 43% of external meetings and business trips were cancelled; 40% suffered loss of IT and 27% suffered loss of telecoms.

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The impact of Openreach’s FTTC install changes

Posted on Feb 23 2016 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment
Categories : Broadband, BT, Fibre, Reselling

Industry has argued against it since it was first mooted in 2014, but from 16th March BT Openreach will no longer be supplying a modem on fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) installations (including upgrades from ADSL/2+). While Openreach say that this industry-wide change will simplify provision by dispensing with the need to book an engineer appointment, in reality we think the advantages and disadvantages will be more widely felt. As a wholesale supplier, we are wary of the impact on both resellers and consumers – especially in terms of the potential for confusion and misunderstandings.

Two new installation options will be available in place of the withdrawn product, both of which require the consumer to supply and connect their own Openreach-approved modem/routing device.

Option 1 is a standard installation and will see an engineer complete a ‘wires only’ connection at the PCP (primary connection point, aka the cabinet) and will not visit the consumer’s premises. This means that the NTE5 faceplate will not be changed and the consumer will need to fit VDSL filters to all extensions in order to complete the installation.

Option 2 – a ‘managed’ installation – is available at an additional cost. With this service an engineer will visit the consumer premises to uplift any wiring and fit a service specific faceplate – they may also connect the modem/routing device if it’s available at the point of connection.

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Poll: What do you think of the new ASA advertising rules regarding pricing?

Posted on Feb 17 2016 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: What do you think of the new ASA advertising rules regarding pricing?

Following a brief study into customers’ understanding of advertised broadband pricing, the ASA plans to impose a new set of rules in May that will change how all ISPs advertise pricing of services. We discussed the plans in detail in our article Are the ASA and Ofcom ignoring the UK’s smaller ISPs yet again? but now we want to know how you feel about the proposed changes. Do you think that what’s good for the consumer is good for the industry, or do the proposals need re-thinking to better reflect the industry as a whole? Let us know by participating in our poll and/or leaving a comment below.   


 

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