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Frequently Asked Questions

Hosted Telephony

What is hosted telephony?

A hosted telephony system is a cloud-based phone solution that removes the need for telephone system hardware by hosting in an Enterprise Grade Data Centre. Access to these services is typically via a Converged Fibre Broadband or Ethernet Internet service and once within your business uses the same wiring as your company’s data network. Hosted telephony is a replacement to existing ISDN services, important as Openreach has announced the end of life for ISDN lines by 2025. Hosted telephony has a range of features and benefits that traditional SME phone systems do not provide, including a flexible secure system that is disaster recovery-ready.

How does hosted telephony work?

Utilising a Converged or Assured Internet connection, the phones connect to the Gamma Horizon cloud platform where the voice services are provided. The platform itself is built on the world-leading Broadsoft which supports millions of users' voice services every day. Through premium Polycom handsets or Softphone clients, calls are presented to the users to take wherever they are connected to the internet. Management is through an easy to use web interface, providing users with multiple ways of managing how they handle their personal calls. Also providing easy access to call history, voicemail and recorded calls. With the system being hosted in Enterprise Data Centres, geography is no longer an issue for a business with home-workers and remote offices all being part of the single system. This is something that was available in Enterprise-grade on-premise systems, but now available to all businesses.

What are the benefits of hosted telephony?

There are a range of benefits that a hosted phone system such as Gamma Horizon offers. These include minimal capital expenditure, a simple futureproof system, potential savings and ongoing support. Find out more about how Gamma Horizon can work for your business.

What is the difference between hosted telephony and a traditional phone system?

Traditional telephony solutions are typically reliant on hardware installed on-premise and connected to the voice network via Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). ISDN is a set of communication standards that allows for transmission of voice, video, data etc. Openreach (BT) has announced it will be retiring ISDN, so this means adopting a hosted telephony system will not only serve as a catalyst for business modernisation, but is a necessity come 2025. A move to hosted telephony would remove the on-premise hardware equipment and move the call handling into the cloud-based phone system. The benefit of this is that you are connected to a network of Enterprise Grade phone systems across multiple geographic locations whilst also ensuring you have access to the latest iteration of the phone system software.

Which hosted telephony provider should I choose?

TSG works with organisations across the UK deploying hosted telephony solutions and partners with award-winning supplier Gamma. Gamma is a leading supplier of voice, data and mobile products and services in the UK. Together TSG and Gamma Horizon provide scalable, flexible and resilient solutions that deliver real business value.

Disaster Recovery & Backup

What is disaster recovery technology?

Disaster recovery technology ensures that your organisation’s information, including business-critical data, is safe and securely stored out of harm’s way. It also means that in the event of a disaster, such as a flood, fire or cyber-attack, you are able to access data (files/systems etc.) quickly and get your business back up and running.

What is a disaster recovery plan?

A disaster recovery plan is a documented process and procedure that enables the recovery of critical IT systems and software. A well put together plan makes business continuity achievable, meaning your organisation can continue with business as usual, when a problem occurs.

What company information should I back up?

Ultimately the mission-critical systems should take priority in your back-up plan to ensure you are able to operate at a functional level, for example ERP, CRM, NAV, etc. Though businesses should look to take a back-up of everything, taking intermittent snapshots so you are able to restore systems quickly in the event of a disaster such as a Ransomware attack, flood, fire etc.

How is Datto’s disaster recovery different from the back-up businesses currently use?

Historically businesses have used a range of ways to back-up their business data, from tapes to USB drives. These methods aren’t guaranteed, continually tested, and can run into a lot of problems, from human error to lost hardware. Datto stores your data in two locations - on a local appliance and in the cloud and allows you to retrieve business-critical data quickly and efficiently allowing business continuity.  The recovery time needs to be understand by your business and this is known as RTO – Recovery Time Objective, i.e. (how much downtime) - can your business suffer, before you may lose orders, reputation, money, etc.

 

How often should I back up data?

Users can easily schedule when Datto backs up company data. A snapshot of your business data can be taken every hour if required. This information is stored in your on-site device which is then backed up to the Datto cloud. The frequency of backups needs to align to your business RPO – Recovery Point Objective, i.e. (how much data are you willing to lose) – from the points of your last back-up to when you had a disaster, as the gap is the amount of data you have lost.

Why choose Datto?

Disaster recovery from Datto is automated and moves away from outdated solutions such as tapes and USBs.With Datto there’s no need to take offsite such elements, like tapes, as there is no removable media. This then frees up IT resource and removes the human error element, i.e. losing tapes, and valuable business data, etc. Restore time can be much improved with the restoration via “system snapshots” direct from the appliance, as opposed to slow restoration from manual tape and slower drives. Data integrity is key, and you now you knowledge via “screenshot verification”, that your data backup was in a usable state and that you can view a screenshot of a booted virtual server will be sent to you as requested. The options for restoring are much more varied with Datto, for example you can:

  • Restore files from previous snapshots in a quick and timely manner via a fileshare
  • Restore a snapshot and set up as a virtual machine to enable a quick recovery time on the local appliance
  • Restore a snapshot to the cloud-based services

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

When does the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) come into effect?

The GDPR comes into effect on 25th May 2018.

What are the consequences for non-compliance?

Fines will be put in place for organisations who fail to comply: 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is higher.

What does the GDPR mean?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means that individuals can request access to the information a business holds on them. It also means that people can request the right to be forgotten which means that in order to comply, a business must oblige and remove their information from business systems. It also means that a person's information must be protected from a breach which would compromise Personally Identifiable Information (PII). TSG is offering a free trial of our PII Discovery tool.

What is Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?

PII is data that can identify an individual. If used in isolation or combined with other information, and it can identify a person that data would be classed as PII. Examples of PII include names, addresses, email addresses etc.

Connectivity

What is a leased line?

A leased line is a dedicated high-performance telephone connection that can carry voice, data and internet traffic. A leased line is always active unlike dial up connections.

Who would benefit from a leased line?

Leased lines are used by businesses that need high speed reliable internet access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing an assured high-performance service. They offer dedicated, unparalleled bandwidth ensuring that the maximum line speed is always available when required.

What speeds are available with a leased line from Zen?

TSG's leased lines are available in three products: Fibre Ethernet, EFM and EoFTTC. Fibre Ethernet is available from 1Mbps up to 1Gbps, EFM from 1Mbps to 35Mbps and EoFTTC from 1Mbps to 20Mbps.

How secure is the leased line service from Zen?

A leased line is inherently secure in its own right because it operates as a point-to-point service. However, if a connection is provided to the internet, additional security services will need to be implemented such as firewalls. We provide a full range of IT security solutions from anti-Ransomware product Intercept X to Sophos Synchronised Security.

IT Security

How can I protect company data?

Keeping business sensitive information is key, there are a number of solutions that can protect your data from malicious cyber-attacks to employees who unwittingly put data at risk. Take a look at our IT security section to find out more.

How can I protect my company from hackers?

A hacker is a cyber-criminal whose aim is to breach a company's firewall in order to infiltrate an organisation's network. Hackers often operate behind the scenes well hidden, which poses a big threat to IT security. Sophos XG Firewall offers unrivaled security for your business by blocking unknown threats and responding automatically to incidents. 

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software from that threatens to publish the victim's data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses data encryption techniques to make the victims files inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. In a properly implemented extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is impossible  – and difficult to trace digital currencies such as Ukash and Bitcoin are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult.

What is malware?

Malware is a catch-all term for every type of malicious software. You cannot stop people from trying to attack your organisation's networks, but you can prevent the attack from causing lasting damage. 

What technologies can a company use to safeguard information?

It's important for businesses to understand the size of the threat landscape and recognise the journey the data within their organisation takes. Data is stored in more places now than ever before, whether data sits on-premise, in the cloud or moved around via USB stick. Encryption is a key technology that can safeguard data, this ensures that no-one without the correct permissions can read an organisations information. 

 

 

How can I prevent malware infection?

Businesses cannot control the possibility of a cyber attack, however IT security solutions such as Intercept X can instantly recognise if malicious software is attempting to infiltrate a network.

How serious is the threat of a cyber-attack such as Ransomware?

In 2017, the Guardian reported that 54% ok UK businesses have been hit by Ransomware. Reports indicate that this fast-increasing threat will continue to grow. With the introduction of paid for services such as Ransomware-as-a-Service even the most untechnical criminal has the ability to launch sophisticated cyber-attacks with the aim of illegally extorting money. Email is by far the biggest vehicle for Ransomware. At 59%, malicious emails are the most common way to distribute Ransomware. Other sources include websites, social media and infected USB sticks. 

What is phishing?

Phishing is a catch-all term describing an email delivered with malicious intent. Phishing emails rely on those who aren’t aware of how dangerous so-called spam emails can be. Furthermore, with the introduction of social engineering, cyber-criminals are getting smarter when it comes to persuading people to action a malicious email. A phishing email could appear to be from a collegue or trusted partner, it could hav an attachment or a malicious link. A solution such as Sophos Phish Threat simulates phishing emails to employees in order to raise awareness of malicious emails but also to train people on what to look out for such as a typo or change in domain that would indicate malicious intent.

What is file encryption?

Encryption is a way of making data unreadable by converting letters and numbers to symbols, for example a file such as a Word document or Excel spreadsheet can be converted to an unreadable code. An encryption key allows you to decode the document and revert it back to its original state. Encryption as a technology solution allows businesses to protect their data by only allowing access to employees who have the relevant encryption keys. Cyber-criminals also use illegal encryption to make your files unreadable following a malware attack such as Ransomware, the encryption key is promised upon the ransom payment.

How does Ransomware work?

Ransomware is initiated by someone clicking a link or opening an attachment that then prompts the encryption of a PC and its contents. Ransomware can affect a range of devices from PCs and smartphones to a smart TV. Once the device and its contents are encrypted, users are shown a message from the cyber-criminals who request a payment in order to hand over the encryption key that will unlock the device. The ransom is usually a request for digital currency such as Bitcoin.

Hackers have a number of tactics to get people to pay up, including a deadline to pay or lose the data forever. It’s rare and very unlikely that files are ever decrypted and return to their owner, our advice is to not pay the ransom. Instead businesses are advised to protect their data with an anti-Ransomware solutions such as Intercept X.

How do I prevent Ransomware?

There are technology solutions available that can stop Ransomware in its tracks. Intercept X is an anti-Ransomware solution that identifies unusual network activity that indicates a Ransomware attack, it then blocks the spread and reverts any files that have been affected back to their original state.

Office 365

Can Office 365 help me with GDPR compliance?

Yes, information in Office 365 Mail, OneDrive and SharePoint can benefit from the Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) features which can recognise sensitive or Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data and prevent it from being emailed out of the organisation or saved to locations outside of Office 365.

After moving my email to the cloud, what do I do next?

Call us - as there is so much you can do with Office 365 and we would be delighted to show its full power! Many of our clients implement Teams as their first step into using the productivity applications; it's a gentle way to move to a digital workplace providing conversations, file management, collaboration etc., from a single interface. This gains end user trust and helps overall adoption going forward.

How can Office 365 help with my business processes?

Using Flow, PowerApps and SharePoint, we can help you streamline, automate and manage your data. With Office 365, less is more - fewer steps to achieve greater productivity.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Does Microsoft Dynamics NAV have a payroll module?

No. Due to the worldwide availability of Dynamics NAV and each territory having its own specific regulatory requirements, Microsoft's approach is to enable importing of data from a locally-compliant payroll system as easy as possible. Most of TSG's UK-based NAV customers use either Sage or Pegasus payroll, the data from which we provide routines to import into NAV.

Does Dynamics NAV enable my business to be compliant with Making Tax Digital (MTD)?

Absolutely. All versions of NAV within the mainstream support life cycle will support Making Tax Digital (MTD) when it is enforced in 2019. NAV already supports submitting VAT reports electronically. However, at the moment the technical requirements of the initiative are unclear, so Microsoft is in dialogue with the HMRC and advisory groups in the UK to ensure that NAV functionally supports Making Tax Digital before it takes effect for businesses.

Does using Microsoft Dynamics NAV make my business compliant with GDPR?

No. Compliance with the GDPR regulations encompasses more than any one individual business software system. However, all versions of NAV within the mainstream support life cycle have recently received an update that enables you to identify and classify Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data held within NAV. The Dynamics NAV March 2018 cumulative updates are not a 'magic bullet' to make you compliant with GDPR and you should talk to your TSG Account Manager about our GDPR services.

Sage 200c

Can I integrate my other software with Sage 200?

Yes, it has out-of-the-box import options for simple integrations, but can also use third-party software or bespoke solutions for more complex requirements.

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