Month: January 2016

How to use Hosted Voice to get one up on your competition

Have you ever heard of an agile, digital business that still communicates internally by fax?

No? It’s probably because that’s a terrible idea that would crash any business.

But why exactly?

Answer: a good business aligns its resources with its business objectives. You focus on a goal, then arrange your skills and tools so that you can achieve that goal as efficiently as possible. That’s how you win. And fax just isn’t capable of meeting today’s business needs.

Network complexity has outstripped bandwidth as the biggest challenge facing progressive businesses, says Claranet

The biggest challenge facing progressive businesses today is no longer procuring bandwidth, but managing the complexity of their networks, says Claranet. With the explosion of cloud services and an ever increasing number of internet connected devices, businesses have a greater reliance on connectivity than ever before, with more data flowing across both private networks and the public internet.

Michel Robert, UK Managing Director of Claranet, commented: “The past twenty years of network development have completely changed the ways in which businesses interact with and use the internet. Availability of bandwidth is constantly increasing and costs have gone down, providing businesses with more capacity than ever before to support a variety of services from different locations. However, with the proliferation of devices and cloud-driven applications, it is increasingly important to manage and monitor the flow of data, ensuring that availability, performance and security are optimal.

“Ten years ago the underpinning internet infrastructure was significantly smaller as there was less demand, meaning bandwidth was much more expensive and, accordingly, complex networks were less common. Homeworking VPNs were just starting to increase in popularity, but most traffic travelled back and forth between the user and corporate on-premises servers which meant performance was not always acceptable and user-experience suffered.

“Today, significant volumes of traffic flow back and forth to applications and devices both inside and outside of a business’s wide area network with greater resilience. To exploit the increases in bandwidth and to efficiently manage businesses’ network estate, providers are investing in software-defined networks, addressing the vital strategic role of the network and not simply treating it as a commodity,” he continued.

Claranet started as a business in 1996 as an Internet Service Provider, before adapting it’s offering to a changing market to become a Managed Service Provider, specialising in infrastructure management.

Robert continued: “Claranet’s twenty year history has put us at the forefront of the major developments in networking technology. Modern networks are not as simple as they once were – the early days of dial-up modems in the mid-1990s looks starkly different from today’s 24/7, cloud-capable infrastructures which support 3 billion users across the globe. Today, the complexities of networking are greater than ever before, something that can pose some distinct challenges for IT departments.

“Through careful management of our customers’ networks we are allowing their businesses to operate in a secure yet highly agile way. Many of our customers share well-established relationships with Claranet, the result of years of innovative network service development and management. Now in 2016, we are increasingly looking toward the future, to our new service Cloud Connect, connecting the Claranet MPLS network to public cloud (AWS and Microsoft Azure) to innovations in software-defined networking that will continue to help our customers do amazing things.”

Claranet has created an infographic charting the changing requirements and demands placed upon modern network – for more information, click below:
20 Years of Networks infographic

Claranet Online: the new benchmark for interacting with MSPs

Did you know: as a Claranet customer, you have access to a new kind of service experience. It’s called Claranet Online.

Through Claranet Online, you can reach new levels of visibility and control over your Claranet services, with an experienced that’s tailored to you and mobile friendly. Claranet Online sets a new benchmark for how you can interact with managed service providers.

With new features being released every two months, Claranet Online is a continuously evolving channel that brings you ever closer to your IT services. Whether you’re out and about on your mobile, in the office on your desktop or on a tablet at home on the weekend, you have a direct line to the IT services and support that underpin your business.

With Claranet Online you can:

  • See how hard your services are working for you with intuitive reporting tools
  • Quickly raise, view and update support tickets
  • Monitor your orders and track invoices
  • Add, edit and remove your authorised contacts
  • Obtain the Claranet news and notifications relevant to you
  • Provide feedback directly into the Claranet Quality Team
  • Coming soon – purchase and scale your Claranet services, online

To get started with Claranet Online today, call us on 01452 631 240 then simply sign-in to add more users!

Contact your Claranet Account Manager for more information.

Claranet at Cloud Expo Europe!

Don’t miss Claranet at Cloud Expo Europe on 12th & 13th April at ExCel, London!

Cloud Expo Europe is the world’s biggest, best attended and multi-award winning cloud event.

We will be attending this show for the sixth time in a row and this year we will going bigger than ever, celebrating our 20th anniversary with a 55 square metre stand!

We have some amazing news to share with you all – here’s a sneak peak:

How NOT to protect yourself against DoS attacks

How long can you afford for your website to be offline?

A day? An hour? Ten minutes?

A denial of service (DoS) attack aims to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend an online service, potentially causing significant disruption to your customers and revenue losses.

They are caused when an attackers sends dummy web traffic to a site or application in such large amounts that your app is put out of operation.

Shadow IT an opportunity to innovate, suggests Claranet research

Greater alignment between IT and the business needed to harness potential of shadow IT

European organisations will only fully realise the benefits of shadow IT on innovation if IT leaders can align themselves more closely with other business units, research from managed services provider Claranet suggests.

The research, which surveyed 900 IT decision-makers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux, from a range of mid-market organisations found that only a minority of European IT leaders view shadow IT as a challenge. Just 13 per cent of respondents stated that shadow IT was a major challenge, a significantly smaller proportion than those reporting security or complexity as a challenge (48 per cent and 39 per cent respectively).

For Claranet’s Group CIO, Andy Wilton, the results serve to overturn conventional wisdom that shadow IT is inherently problematic, suggesting instead that it can be a driver of innovation within an organisation.

Wilton commented:

We know that shadow IT is occurring in organisations of all sizes, but the jury is still out as to whether or not it is an intrinsically bad thing. Indeed, the data suggests that shadow IT isn’t the evil that many in the industry would have us believe; just 13 per cent of IT leaders view it as a major challenge, leaving a sizeable contingent that are either untroubled by it or, within reason, see it as a positive driver of innovation within their organisations. It’s an incredibly divisive issue, but whatever your view, the occurrence of shadow IT is often indicative of a larger issue: a disconnect between the IT department and the wider organisation.”

He continued:

Shadow IT does, however, present an opportunity to drive innovation, and businesses view the practice as an important source of feedback and service improvement. By monitoring employees’ use of unsanctioned programmes, IT leaders may discover unexpected benefits in their approach. By integrating those elements of shadow IT that have business value and eliminating potential pain points in the infrastructure, IT leaders could directly contribute to their organisations’ balance sheets.”

Wilton went on to say that building good relationships and understanding departmental needs is crucial to securing the benefits of shadow IT but also to containing any of the risks associated with it. He concluded:

Shadow IT is not going away, so IT leaders must work to ensure that, even if software is procured without their direct involvement, it is done in a controlled way to ensure efficiencies in spend and safeguard corporate data. Here, closer relationships and better understanding between IT and the wider business are critical, and it’s clear from our research that there is a great deal of room for improvement in that regard. Three quarters (74 per cent) of IT leaders report having an incomplete understanding of their organisations, and unless this knowledge gap is addressed, they will struggle to harness the potential of shadow IT.”

11 reasons to back up your data in the cloud in 2016

Backing up your critical systems can make the difference between business success and failure.

And the recent floods across England have once again demonstrated the business cost of complacency, with two-thirds of SMBs having been affected by floods at some point in the past three years. [1]

Fortunately, backing up your business-critical data and systems to the cloud is simpler and more cost-effective than ever.

Here are our top 11 reasons why you should back up your data in the cloud in 2016.

1) Hassle-free guarantee of data security

Top of the Blogs: most popular Claranet posts of 2015

2015 saw the cloud industry mature as a whole, with growth across private, public and hybrid cloud.

28 per cent overall, according to Synergy Research. [1]

Synergy Research Group’s chief analyst Jeremy Duke commented on their research:

In many ways 2015 was the year when cloud became mainstream. Across a wide range of cloud applications and services we have seen that usage has now passed well beyond the early adopter phase and barriers to adoption continue to diminish.”