Health and Safety: How Messy is your Floor Box?

What would prompt any business to decide that a health check or even a simple desk tidy is a good idea?

Just a quick glance around your office may identify tangled wires and cables.  Are your floor boxes looking more like rubbish bins?

With a recent spate of enquires leading us to complete a number of under desk cable management projects for new clients we have been amazed at the contents of the average floor box.  The obvious fire hazards alone have made us shake our heads in amazement, aside from the damage caused to plugs, jacks and cables by stray objects.

But what are the wider implications of neglecting your workstations?  What are the health and safety issues that prompt ACCL to be called in to resolve such issues?

We have identified some areas of concern from the projects that we have recently been involved in but is there any other legislation under health and safety that could be posing potential problems?

Aastra 400 Clever Communication for the Smart SME.

Even though it appears that we might be emerging from depths of this double dip recession increasing cost efficiency will clearly remain an important target for most businesses. Cost cutting and low budgets will continue to be the status quo in order to ensure a complete recovery!  Expenses are frequently reduced or even completely frozen, there are however many solutions out there that still enable any business to communicate effectively across a number of locations.

With the demise of the Aastra Intelligate systems there are a number of small or medium businesses who will be looking for an alternative system that needs to be an affordable solution.  The Aastra 400 system does just that, providing them with full functionality worthy of the 21st century business whilst also giving them future proof development opportunities.  The new Aastra 400 system provides a range of hardware that will be able to provide the appropriate solutions for the differing needs of varying office environments.

Active Communications Co Ltd are delighted to have recently become an accredited partner, allowing them to pass on valuable discounts to their customers when they make the choice to move to the Aastra 400 system.

After seeing what the Aastra 400 has to offer I would recommend that any SME does a double take at all the available functions as there are plenty on offer that will not only make a very slick team effort but also save many a company time and money in respect of quick communication particularly with multi-sited businesses.  Some of the apsects that appeal to me are:

  • You can now not only have conferencing facilities but also the opportunity to collectively work on a single document even though the people involved are at different locations.
  • The ability to move from mobile handsets to desktop and vice-versa without the recipient of the call having any awareness.
  • Intelligent networking means that up to 40 locations can be integrated so that it is seen as a single system, even collegues overseas can be treated as in-house employees!
  • Home office facility gives the benefit of favourable flexibility and provision of care for the home/work lifebalance.

A great system with plenty to offer the SME of today, knocking spots off the now defunct Intelligate system of yesterday!  To quote Aastra “you don’t have to adapt to the telephones as the telephones will adapt to you!”

Wi-Fi Has Its Pluses and Minuses Over Copper

The Wi-Fi standard of network connectivity/communication is governed by the  802 working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE  802). Wi-Fi allows users to access your company or home network wirelessly.  Before the implementation of Wi-Fi, the only way to connect to a network was by  using copper wires. There are a variety of benefits and hazards that must be  considered before rolling out full wireless network access.

Plus: Enhanced Mobility

Laptop and notebook computers allow users to move around easily. Add in a  Wi-Fi connection, and they can stay connected to the network as long as they  have enough signal strength. This means your users can be online while eating  lunch while enjoying the sunshine outside. It also means that a user can stay  connected while carrying his or her laptop or notebook from the office to the  conference room.

Plus: No Wires to Trip Over or Limit Computer Placement

Wires are hazardous. You can roll over them with your chair and ruin them.  You can trip over them while carrying an arm load of papers from the printer to  your desk. This can be painful and injurious to both people and equipment.  Damaging equipment by yanking a wire caught under your foot is a common  occurrence. Also, using a wireless card in a desktop computer frees you from the  bondage of having to plug into a wall outlet

Plus: Add Users Without Adding Cable Runs

One of the biggest expenses when expanding the size of your network is adding  locations where users can connect to the network. In a network running a  traditional copper infrastructure, this means calling in a contractor to pull  and terminate cables. With a wireless network, it consists of installing a  wireless adapter card in the computer and supplying the user with an access key  and the name of the network being connected to.

Minus: Slower Network Speeds

Networks that are compliant with the latest cabling standard (Category 6/6  Augmented) are capable of transmitting data at speeds up to 10 Gigabit. The  previous standard, Cat 5e, is capable of Gigabit speeds. This is almost ten  times as fast as wireless networks, which are capable of a maximum of 150  Megabits. What this means is that if you will be transferring large data files  over the network, you would be better served by a wired network. However, there  aren’t many network interface controllers in use that are capable of these  speeds yet, especially when it comes to laptop computers.

Minus: Network Security Is Weaker on a Wireless Network

Anyone with a wireless adapter and computer or a Wi-Fi-enabled device, such  as an iPhone, can receive the wireless signal propagated by your network’s  wireless access points and routers. There are ways to enhance the security of a  network based upon wireless technology, but these aren’t fool-proof and can  actually be broken quite easily by someone who has the right knowledge and  desire. Network security in a wired network isn’t bullet-proof, either, but the  tools available much more robust and will keep out all but the most determined  of hackers. Also, they have to breach your security normally from the Internet,  which usually means multiple layers of security. Once the security of a wireless  network has been breached, that person is inside your network with the same  access as an authorized user. Typically, someone breaking in to your network  from the Internet has to breach that security and then be able to breach the  security between subnets as well.

With 25 year experience in putting together structured cabling project cost  for our client’s, Wayne Connors & ACCL offers you a free project cost  estimator download. Paired with our Technical Proposal tender document for Data  Cabling installation eBooks- you can save thousands! All aspects of your next  tender proposal are included.

Thanks for reading our articles and hurry over to get your free project cost  estimator:

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We’re not talking stalking….it’s just a follow!

ACCL is slowly building a presence in the world of social media as a way communicating with our customers, existing and new, also as a way of improving our relationships with business partners and employees.

We all have to acknowledge, that where the world is, business needs to follow… Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + etc –  is a rapidly growing platform of communication, enabling people to communicate in a way that is less formal and stuffy, providing relevent information but in a more friendly, casual way. The idea is to build an audience and get people talking, honestly and transparently.

Sally and I are the social media team at ACCL and have been on a journey of learning since the end of October – there is a lot to learn…..! Having dabbled with Facebook and the like socially for a while, we are now (trying!) to get to grips with it all from a professional point of view..

Helen Tonetti came into the ACCL offices in October to teach us the ropes, giving us a sound background to build on! The beginning of February saw us attend a LinkedIn seminar run by The Social Media Bureau at a hotel in South Kensington. The main reason for attending the seminar  was to increase our knowledge of LinkedIn as currently although we both have personal accounts, we knew we needed to set up a company page in order for us to showcase our company’s services. Why LinkedIn? March last year saw LinkedIn hit a milestone – 100 million members world wide and growing by roughly a million each week – some serious networking potential….!! Of all the social media platforms available, LinkedIn would probably be seen as the most professional, a great way to interact with other professionals via groups etc. It is a fact that LinkedIn is the preferred social media platform of the professional man…..which, by the nature of our business, is our target market.

We are learning something new every day, it’s definitely a case of trial and error…we’re not always going to get it right first time! Regular blogs and interactions on LinkedIn and Twitter are building our confidence, we have gained lots of great new contacts and anticipate that this will continue – onwards and upwards 🙂

With all this learning, it’s becoming clear just how important the role of Social Media is, every company wanting to move forward should embrace it wholeheartedly – feel the social media love 🙂

Office Move – Getting IT sorted…..

Lets face it an office relocation can be a logistical nightmare, it sounds obvious but careful and thoughtful planning is key….! Not a job to be undertaken lightly or by the feint-hearted! Most people tasked with managing the office move have not done it before, perhaps because if you have done it once, you are in no hurry to do it again!

The aim is to achieve the right office in the right location, everything up and running on that first day, coming in on budget, on time and with very little disruption to your business – a fairly tall order one would say?!

Three pitfalls you need to be aware of are 1) underestimating what’s involved – a lot!  2) not starting the process early enough, and 3) not getting the right people involved at the key stages of the move.

Working with a specialist IT and Telecoms company, such as ACCL, will ensure that your communications infrastructure is properly managed, assembled and fully functional with no interruption to your daily business operations from day one. Getting this part right can be the most challenging part of any office relocation. It merits specialist attention as communications is the key part of your business, all systems need to be up and ready to go that very first morning in your new office…

Their role should involve a full audit of your equipment to be taken prior to the move, an assessment of your IT and Telecoms requirements, correctly advising on the phone system suitable for your office/company, planning and executing a safe and secure IT relocation and then setting up and testing all equipment so that it’s all ready to use.

They will need to be involved at the planning stages to help review your existing technology to see if any improvements can be made to improve your business efficiency. They should advise on a suitable IT network infrastructure that best meets your needs in the new office, determining the best locations for all of your IT and Telecoms equipment, such as servers, computers, telephones and printers.

Important considerations when planning for an IT relocation would be to ensure business continuity with no disruption to service, to include an upgrade of current equipment where necessary and network cabling.

IT and Telecoms is the lifeblood of any business, if the phones aren’t ringing and the computers aren’t working, then you’re not doing the business!

It can, therefore never be underestimated just how important this aspect of an office move is, without it, you can have major operational and financial consequences to your business.

Moving office provides the perfect opportunity to review your current IT installer so, if you’re planning a move, get in touch, we’d be happy to help!