Your Telecoms Expert Mansfield
01623 333036

Company Update & Important Customer Notices

Nov 1st, 2018

Firstly, we would like to thank our loyal customers for the many years of support and business they have given to Your Telecoms.  We would like to take this opportunity to share a number of industry driven changes with you, to Your Telecoms operational methods.  These include customer savings, faster response times and enhanced monitoring services.

Your Telecoms continues to grow from strength-to-strength.  With strong ethics focused on customer service, continually surpassing the traditional customer experience in the telecommunications industry, combined with year-on-year growth, resulting in revenues during our last financial year approaching £250,000.

During the last 24 months, we have invested heavily into expanding our resources to meet customer demand.  We have strong network relationships with BT, Eclipse, Tipicall, Virgin and Colt. to deliver Internet telephony services, in addition to fully monitored data circuits.  Continued expansion has seen the birth of our North Midlands offices, in addition to our Mansfield based headquarters and the recruitment of additional Admin and First Line staff.

IMPORTANT CUSTOMER NOTICES

 

  • SpliceCom physical legacy telephone system spare parts end of life
  • Monthly on-site maintenance no longer relevant in the modern age of cloud telephone systems
  • Billing platform enhancements in progress, including customer login to view services, invoices, account information and support tickets
  • Live 24/7 data circuit monitoring services
  • Your Telecoms migrates all of our office systems and staff desktop environments into the cloud to achieve true geographical independence & ensure a strong proactive D.R. strategy

 

COMPANY UPDATE

Firstly, we would like to thank our loyal customers for the many years of support and business they have given to Your Telecoms.  We would like to take this opportunity to share a number of industry driven changes with you, to Your Telecoms operational methods.  These include customer savings, faster response times and enhanced monitoring services.

Your Telecoms continues to grow from strength-to-strength.  With strong ethics focused on customer service, continually surpassing the traditional customer experience in the telecommunications industry, combined with year-on-year growth, resulting in revenues during our last financial year approaching £250,000.

During the last 24 months, we have invested heavily into expanding our resources to meet customer demand.  We have strong network relationships with BT, Eclipse, Tipicall, Virgin and Colt. to deliver Internet telephony services, in addition to fully monitored data circuits.  Continued expansion has seen the birth of our North Midlands offices, in addition to our Mansfield based headquarters and the recruitment of additional Admin and First Line staff.

 

SPLICECOM PHYSICAL LEGACY TELEPHONE SYSTEM SPARE PARTS, END OF LIFE

As many of you already know.  Your Telecoms specialises in two telephone system platforms.  Our in-house solution, branded Your-Switch and SpliceCom’s cloud based telephony products.

For many years, we have sold, installed and maintained physical telephone system chassis which are now, no longer manufactured by SpliceCom.  Both SpliceCom’s physical 4000 & 5000 series telephone system ‘boxes’ haven’t been manufactured for many years. In the case of most of our existing customers, still operating these physical systems.  They have been in use for over a decade, which we hope you will agree equates to a very positive cost of ownership. However, as the industry continues to become less reliant on physical equipment on-site vs. savings associated with the same facilities being provided in the ‘cloud’ the number of customers (following our efforts during the last 24 months to migrate existing physical system customers, to cost effective cloud based versions of the same system) still operating physical SpliceCom chassis, equates to 3% of our SpliceCom based clients.

We have held and continue to hold legacy physical SpliceCom hardware, which has enabled Your Telecoms to provide a hardware maintenance service, for many years beyond that of the manufacturer.  With over 16 physical ‘blue SpliceCom boxes’ held in stock for this purpose, of which at least 7 units are actual call servers, comprising of at least 2 of each model historically sold, plus additional expansion chassis, we are now at a stage where this equipment itself is over 7 years old and in relation to some models, over a decade old.  We have continued to repair this equipment as needed in house and replenish it via various second-hand sources. In terms of client physical equipment failure, we are proud to share that Your Telecoms have only had to physically swap out 2 customer systems, during the last 5 years. For this reason, our maintenance ‘stock’ is often unused for many months or years at a time.  We do of course periodically bench test our maintenance stock, however, we are increasingly finding that due to the age of this equipment and lack of regular use. That even these units often fail to boot and we are finding it more difficult to source reliable internal components.

We therefore hope that you will understand that we have far surpassed a sensible lifetime over which those legacy physical chassis can be supported and we have therefore taken the decision to cease, effective immediately, the inclusion of physical legacy SpliceCom chassis/call servers and their associated expansion modules as part of our normal support offering.  We will continue to provide a courtesy service on a ‘best endeavour’ basis until November, 2018 after which we plan to dispose our maintenance stock and continue our focus on ‘cloud’ based SpliceCom products.

It is understood that the majority of those clients affected within the relevant 3% of our SpliceCom customer base, are already talking to us in relation to office relocations or other ‘triggers’ within there businesses that will allow us to support a migration to a ‘cloud’ version of the same solution, within the next few months.

 

MONTHLY ON-SITE MAINTENANCE NO LONGER RELEVANT IN THE MODERN AGE OF CLOUD TELEPHONE SYSTEMS

Traditionally Your Telecoms have operated Northern and Southern based field teams, providing contract response times to site, primarily for our customers operating traditional physical telephony system chassis/boxes.  However, as detailed in the above notice, our client base operating physical telephone system chassis on-site, represents a very small number of systems. Most of these clients are already in discussions with Your Telecoms in relation to office relocations and/or migrations to ‘cloud’ versions of their existing products.  

Despite traditionally charging a monthly maintenance retainer, which includes an on-site response service (primarily for physical core equipment failure, generally excluding handsets), we have only had cause to physically attend site in such circumstances, twice during the last 5 years.

We do of course, occasionally send our engineers to site in non-breakdown circumstances as a courtesy to aid with issues that are difficult to understand purely from a telephone call or email.  However, in the modern age of remote management tools, we can access core telephone system servers via the cloud and subsequently via the cloud system, access the handsets on-site. Occasionally, should we need a greater level of access to the client’s site and local network to which telephones are connected, we can easily replicate the ability to be on-site by using a selection of remote control services, for example, TeamViewer.  Many of our customers have existing in-house IT teams, who are very well versed in checking the basics within their own company local networks, before escalating issues to ourselves for further investigation. For smaller clients or clients who do not have their own in-house IT teams, we can very easily talk any member of staff through relaying the status/colour of LEDs ect. on equipment (or sending us a photograph) such as their Internet modems/routers, prior to focusing on potential telecoms specific issues.

Through the above, remote approach, we are able to replicate the benefits of being on-site, without the cost to the customer or the delay associated with physically travelling to site.

We have invested heavily in remote monitoring services, to ensure that in many cases, we know when there are critical issues with either the services we provide via the ‘cloud’ or customer Internet/data circuits on-site.  In addition, our Admin and First Line staff are now based in our new North Midlands offices, allowing us to redirect surplus field engineer resources to our remote support team based within our Mansfield headquarters.

We hope that you may agree that for the above reasons, the requirement for physical on-site attendance and the associated cost to the customer as part of a retainer, in addition to the delay associated with physical travel, results in an advantage where the same level of service can be delivered remotely.

On this basis, effective immediately, all technical support shall be delivered remotely.  

Historically, on-site break/fix represents a very small element of the support services we have delivered (as most issues are associated with minor non break/fix symptoms or non-maintenance adds, moves and changes) and have typically be resolved remotely or if on-site as a courtesy (especially in the form of non-maintenance adds, moves and changes) and have been feasible as we have already had teams of engineers in the field.  

Due to the industry trend towards cloud based solutions and therefore the reduced need to operate large teams of field engineers, combined with our focus on remote monitoring services and reassignment of surplus field engineering resources to our remote support teams - we hope that you will understand that it would not be efficient for our business to continue to provide non-maintenance on-site adds moves and changes, free of charge, where we do not already have field teams in situ.

We would like to reinforce the fact that we are not reducing the overall size of our staff base (in fact we are already planning our next stage of recruitment to allow our senior engineers to focus on the more complex support issues exclusively).  We are simply restructuring existing resources, inline with industry driven trends.

As part of this restructuring and to ensure that the accommodation of industry trends, remains fair and continues to deliver value to our customers, we are with immediate effect introducing the following customer discounts:

 

Existing customers with physical legacy On-Site SpliceCom telephony chassis and modules:

  • 20% off of the cost of existing monthly maintenance

 

Existing customers with cloud based SpliceCom telephony solutions (SpliceCom licenses only)

  • 5% off of the cost of existing monthly subscriptions
  • The static Adds, Moves and Changes retainer will also be removed (£7.95 to £49, depending on customer size)

In the few infrequent circumstances where an on-site visit is required or preferred, the following rate card applies with immediate effect (any associated costs accrued will be added to the related customer Direct Debit and detailed on the monthly invoice):   

SILVER

GOLD

PLATINUM

£59/per hour*

£49/per hour*

£39/per hour*

* PLUS TRAVEL EXPENSES CHARGED @ £0.35 PENCE PER MILE, ROUND TRIP FROM NG19 9QH. (ALL PRICES EXCLUDE VAT)


We will contact you directly to confirm which tier your customer account will sit within and this will be registered on our billing/CRM platform to ensure the relevant rate is applied.  These rates will be based on current monthly spend. These rates exclude labour associated with specialist subcontractors (which will always be discussed in advance and typically relate to niche project deliveries) as and when such situations may arise.

These rates are for pre-existing customer systems (either physical and/or cloud) and apply to on-site troubleshooting and non-maintenance adds, moves and changes to those existing systems.  Any new system installations or adds, moves and changes that in themselves represent a ‘project’ vs. minor adds, moves and changes, will be quoted accordingly at our normal rates of £75 per hour, plus travel.  Unless otherwise agreed in writing.

BILLING PLATFORM ENHANCEMENTS IN PROGRESS, INC. CUSTOMER LOGIN TO VIEW SERVICES, INVOICES, ACCOUNT INFORMATION & SUPPORT TICKETS

In 2017 Your Telecoms invested in the development of our own in-house customer database and billing system to improve the way in which customer data and recurring payments could be managed.  Since November 2017, this system has fully automated the generation of monthly customer invoices (based on services registered against the customer account) and utilising end-to-end integration, handed the associated monthly Direct Debit instructions to our choice of payment partner, Go Cardless.  All monthly customer invoices raised, are stored in PDF format against the customer account.

During February 2018, we further commissioned an extension of this system to ensure that all customer telephone numbers, associated with lines provided, were also registered (with their associated postcodes) against the customer record.  It is important to have a clear record of this information, when moving telephone numbers between different communications networks and/or customer sites.

In April 2018, additional investment was made to add a Support section to this system, allowing every customer record, to link via a single click, to a customer support card, detailing each type of service a customer has with Your Telecoms and the support process that should be followed to log and assign an engineer to a reported issue.  This addition, ensures that all of our teams follow an accurate and consistent approach in terms of fault logging and engineer assignment.

Moving forward and due for launch in January, 2019.  Your Telecoms are expanding this system even further, to enable Customer Login so that clients can access and download current and historical invoices, view and update their contact information, view telephone numbers associated with the lines and services that we provide and to which of their locations the numbers relate, in addition to the ability (via their customer support card) to view live support tickets and their status.  Furthermore, client’s will be able to click on any of the displayed support tickets, to access and view the support ticket notes.

We hope that this continued investment into a central system, will soon provide a beneficial and centralised portal for clients to view and manage their billing, services and support issues.

Once this next phase is ready for launch, we will schedule a remote demonstration with you and arrange to provide you with access credentials.

 

LIVE 24/7 DATA CIRCUIT MONITORING SERVICES

Your Telecoms continues to offer a full range of data circuit solutions, in many cases, optimised for Internet telephony.  These Range from lower end services conjoined to form one circuit in areas with limited Internet speeds, to full 10GB leased lines at competitive rates.

Traditionally, the data networks Your Telecoms partners with (including BT, Colt, Virgin, Tipicall & Eclipse) monitor these services as standard and should a fault occur, the data network immediately mobilises an investigation into the cause.  This can often include a telephone call to Your Telecoms to establish the status of the lights on customer modem and firewall equipment, prior to the data network sending an engineer to site or to the local exchange. However, there can sometimes be a delay between the network identifying an issue via their monitoring systems and contact with Your Telecoms.  Such delays may occasionally only be minor, although we respect that even a few minutes without critical data circuits in operation, can be damaging to our client’s productivity. In addition, where Internet telephony is operating over such circuits, it may also affect the customer’s ability to make and receive telephone calls.

For the above reason (as the historical approach has been a reverse escalation in that the customer contacts Your Telecoms to report a loss of service), Your Telecoms have invested in the deployment of a cloud based monitoring solution within our own data centre space/rack.  Currently, this is being utilised to monitor the majority of the Leased Line data circuits that we provide, at speeds of 100MBs and higher. However, our goal is to extend these services to all Leased Line data circuits in addition to standard Fibre Optic (FTTC) DSL connections.

 

YOUR TELECOMS MIGRATES OFFICE SYSTEMS & STAFF DESKTOP ENVIRONMENTS INTO THE CLOUD

We have long held the belief that with modern data circuit speeds and virtualisation technology, it should be more than feasible for smaller and medium sized businesses to operate 100% of their IT architecture in a geographically independent and highly resilient cloud based environment.

During April 2018, while introducing new core systems into the business, Your Telecoms took the step of relocating all of our staff desktop computers, into a virtualized online facility.  Utilising our existing data centre investments, combined with 100MB data circuits installed within our offices, our core systems now reside in a pure cloud environment, alongside our desk based computer operating systems.  All of our desk based computers have been converted to generic online images with consistent security, protection and software. This allows us to operate a permanently ‘on’ pool of Accounts, Development, Marketing and Customer Service terminals, whereby a member of staff can sit at any desk at any of our sites and simply login with their credentials to an available Windows online desktop environment.  This realignment of technology, delivers very high levels of disaster recovery/avoidance as well as higher levels of security and lower energy consumption costs.