David Saul, Managing Director of Business Environment, the leading provider of serviced offices, makes some suggestions about avoiding business broadband downtime!
“Every business needs to be online these days. So it’s important in my view that you pay attention to your business broadband connection. It’s all too easy to overlook something as important as your connection speed as it can be confusing and full of jargon”.
Here are the TOP 10 BROADBAND points to consider that will help you maximise your business potential:
The most important factor to consider for any business is what happens when something goes wrong. There are a number of things to consider here. In fact almost a top ten within the top ten! Firstly your office provider should have a robust system that is managed and monitored to minimise loss of connectivity. We will go in to these problems more later. Secondly it is vital for every business to ensure their equipment is serviced and maintained regularly to keep it at its very best. That also includes all the connected equipment like printers. Thirdly, what would happen if you lost your connection for a number of days because of power failure or network failure? Are you backing up every hour of every day to a remote back up resource? Your connection speed will allow you to do this quickly with little or no disruption to your day to day activities.
2) It’s Too Slow.
Possibly the biggest problem facing your teams! Download speeds can be a real productivity killer. Business Environment has installed 1,000mb connectivity in their buildings. Use this as a bench mark and ask what the building provides. They are not all the same. And remember that shared and home systems are always variable speeds and are often quoted as “UP TO” which means the big number they tell you is not always what you get.
3) Maximum Capacity.
In a typical office a shared connection will allow you to have up to 5 users. A dedicated service will allow any number of connections. However, a big factor to consider is the contention ratio. This is how many other users (not just in your office) share your bandwidth. With a dedicated connection it is 1:1 (so in plain English just you). With a shared connection this can be any number of people which can slow things right down.
Everyone will need to work away from their desk from time to time. It’s important that you can work in any part of the office building you are located in. Wifi coverage can often be limited so ensure you can get online for that all important meeting. Always ask if the building has full coverage in the breakout areas, meeting rooms and public spaces.
5) The Cloud.
We are moving towards working through what’s known as the Cloud. This is getting ever more popular and allows businesses to work anywhere and across the internet backing up their data and files remotely to ensure maximum security and disaster recovery options. The cloud will move us towards fewer PC’s and see us start saving on our energy consumption. For more information about The Cloud visit: https://www.beoffices.com/mobile-working/virtual-desktop
6) Reponse Times.
It’s all very well having a dedicated connection that’s super fast but what happens when it goes wrong. Is your provider outsourcing the service of the connection? If they are be sure to ask about response times or SLA’s (service level agreements should be as quick as 4 hours) when the connection is lost. If the network is monitored most problems are corrected before you see them.
7) Friday Lag.
Do you ever find that there is often a slower connection every Friday? As everyone logs in to webmail and social networks things can slow significantly. This is easily solved by making sure your office provider has sufficient bandwidth in to every building. It’s also often about how many people share the connection but also it’s about having a connection that is suitable for sending and receiving a lot of data like pictures, audio and video..
8 ) Remote Access.
Can the connection allow your company to use VPN (Virtual Private Network in plain English)? This will allow remote connections to other PC’s allowing your teams to work anywhere and have access to your main systems.
Ask your provider what security they have on the system and always ensure your own network is protected from online threats.
10) Limiting Access.
How do you manage access to Facebook, Twitter and other social sites? It’s a growing concern for businesses that their productivity levels dip by around 22% when their people are spending ever increasing amounts of time on these sites. Businesses need to use Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin in order to increase their online presence. Most businesses believe that limiting access is the right thing to do. If you do this ensure you still encourage your teams to provide suggestions for content updates and Tweets. Some businesses have a designated period to allow staff to access messages through these social and business sites and hotmail.