Superfast broadband for your business, with a linked phone system, would be great – but think you cannot afford the downtime while the old is turned off to be replaced by the new?
At the Old Fire Station in Gloucester – headquarters of Moose Marketing and PR and Punchline-Gloucester.com – they were left stumbling over that very hurdle.
How can a business which relies so heavily on the internet, make the leap without a catastrophe?
They found the solution within the county boundary, at a long-established family business which specialises in all-things to do with telecommunications – Lister Unified Communications.
“We needed to upgrade – that was becoming increasingly apparent as the demands on us were growing – but we needed to have confidence we could put everything in their hands,” said Mark Owen, managing director of Moose Marketing and PR and editor of Punchline magazine and website.
“Being able to hand over to someone else was what we were looking for, who could also give us the product we wanted. We found that at a company we already had a good relationship with – Lister Unified Communications.”
Rob Lister, who heads up the Stonehouse-based business with his brother Tom, has heard all the reservations before and is familiar with the look on people’s faces as the realisation dawns on them that everything they want really is within their grasp.
“When you are running a small business, you have enough detail to worry about and want to focus on the clients first,” said Mr Lister, whose business has been built around serving small and medium-sized firms.
The bottom line is simple, he said, the technology is there and can make a tremendous difference – especially as UK plc continues its unstoppable march towards a digital economy.
“The average business has not mentally kept up with the requirements or potential of broadband,” said Mr Lister, getting frank about the matter.
“We consume so much data now, we are moving more and move services onto the cloud, everyone should be looking at it.
“Our products are good for up to about 1,000 users and are highly applicable to smaller and medium-sized businesses.”
Not wanting to make things easy, Moose also gave Lister Unified Communications the challenge of liaising with Openreach to install a new cable from the street to within their offices and with a landlord who was keen to protect his investment in a historic Gloucester building.
Moose also wanted to link our CRM system which logs telephone numbers both in-coming and out-going and allows us to build our database easily, with the potential to record callers to a digital quality. Which also involved getting to know their IT team.
The response was simple.
“It is easy to upgrade. This is virtually no downtime,” said Mr Lister, somehow managing to look and sound like a man who had never said those words before in his life.
“For businesses like Punchline and Moose, which is rapidly growing, it was time to go from baby broadband to grown-up, muscular broadband with service level agreements. Once you do that you can start really growing.
“It also puts you ahead of when BT turn off the old analogue and digital (ISDN) lines and goes fully IP.”
And could his team also handle Moose’s stable of mobile phones?
“You can have a number of different networks on your account, and you will get one bill. We can manage all that for you. You also get a friendly account manager who you can get to know and will look after you and understand what you want.”