Top Tips to Improving Your Wi-Fi

Anyone with a smartphone or tablet has come to rely on Wi-Fi for Internet, but in some cases, the experience is not as fast or reliable as it should be. Here are some simple yet effective ways to get the most out of a Wi-Fi connection.

Better placement

A router tends to be placed in a corner of a building, usually near a window, to eliminate clutter. However, this may cause the Wi-Fi signal to spread omni-directionally and limit its range.

It is better to place a router in the centre of a room or office, preferably at eye-level or higher, so that it provides even coverage and optimum signal strength. To avoid any signal interference, it is also a good idea to keep the router away from other wave-based devices, such as printers, microwave ovens, and other routers.

Use guest networks

If you regularly have visitors to your office, set up a guest network on your router with a separate, simpler password. Once the visitors leave, you can disable the guest network and not have to worry about your Wi-Fi being used later without permission.

To set up a guest network, access the admin settings on the router and give a name to your network, set a password and even limit the number of users simultaneously connected to the network. Some routers also have the option to block and remove connected devices that are taking up too much bandwidth.

Manage your connections

If you haven’t been using guest networks, you may have given out your primary Wi-Fi password to people in the past. It may be possible that people are still connected to your Wi-Fi and using your bandwidth.

The best way to avoid this situation is to change your Wi-Fi password regularly, particularly if you tend to share it with people. Changing the Wi-Fi password once every six months will ensure only the right people connect to your network.

Extend range with repeaters

Unless you work in a home office, a basic router will not provide enough coverage beyond a room. If you don’t want to upgrade to a more powerful router, a simpler and more affordable option is to use a repeater.

A repeater takes the Wi-Fi signal from your router and repeats it to where it is located. The
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) method is the simplest way to connect a router with a repeater, and usually consists of pressing a button that automatically configures the connection settings.

Time for an upgrade

Some Wi-Fi environments may need a few tweaks to run optimally, but others may need more significant improvements. In those cases, upgrading to a new and modern network will bring about higher Wi-Fi speeds.

BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. Not only do we offer choice when it comes to the right network for your BYOD strategy, we also provide you with a variety of ways to invest in it.

In additional to capital and operational expenditure options, BTAS Network is available as NoD. It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customers can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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Designing Your Office for Collaboration

collaboration

Collaboration is one way to boost productivity in the office. However, successful implementation consists of more than just putting a group of people together in the same room.

Fostering teamwork

There are several things an organisation can do to foster a collaborative environment. If you are moving offices, you have an opportunity to plan and design your new location around collaboration.

Consider organising the new office around focused work, conference calls, and telepresence. This means setting aside quiet, social, and collaborative areas where speakerphone can be used without disturbing other people.

Place meeting rooms and project areas within close proximity of teams. Remember that any room or space that’s located too far from the workspace will typically go unused.

Evolving to digital

Provide for and support the transition of analogue work into digital documentation. Enable workers to share information from personal devices, such as notebook PCs and tablets, to a larger format, such as TVs and projectors, to encourage group participation.

Instead of assigning staff to a fixed desk, encourage them to switch where they sit, to connect them to other people, projects, and ideas. Provide a range of furniture and technology that will support employees in their preferred work mode, whether it is focused, social, learning, or collaborative.

Decide where to place network cabling and phone points throughout the office, and what type of phone system and/or unified communications solution to install. This means checking if the office space is already cabled, or if it will need to be done before you move in.

It is worthwhile to find out what is and isn’t available at your new premises well before the move date. That way you will be able to plan ahead and not get stuck with poor performing infrastructure that will hamper your staff from collaborating.

Ready to work together

To help prepare an office for collaboration, BTAS Snapshot provides a high-level management summary of the current status of the organisation’s communication environment. The on-site and remote discovery, analysis and measurement activities take on average three weeks, and are followed by a detailed report and stakeholder presentation.

When it comes to upgrading the communications environment, BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. This includes 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

BTAS Connect uses fast fibre as the backbone to deliver high speed Internet and Wi-Fi to mid-size organisations. In addition to offering choice to companies in terms of design and architecture, it delivers cost efficiency by providing the latest in technology and increased competitiveness around pricing in the market.

To find out more about the above products and how they can help your business, visit the product pages or contact us.

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The IoT and data centres: A match made in heaven

With estimates as hyped up as 50 billion devices expected to be connected by 2020, the internet of things (IoT) will be the most significant change to the way data is managed in a generation. And that has enterprise data centre operators going back to the drawing board. Data direction The surge in the range of devices and sensors that create and send data means the IoT revolution will bring huge data inflows to centres that will need to be...

With estimates as hyped up as 50 billion devices expected to be connected by 2020, the internet of things (IoT) will be the most significant change to the way data is managed in a generation.
And that has enterprise data centre operators going back to the drawing board.

Data direction

The surge in the range of devices and sensors that create and send data means the IoT revolution will bring huge data inflows to centres that will need to be stored, analysed and used. In fact, the very direction of the data flow represents a significant shift from the past, with centres traditionally feeding data-hungry networks.

But the big promises and opportunities of the IoT means that data storage costs are expected to balloon with huge amounts of inbound traffic.

Real-time (and order) is of the essence

While the discussion around the IoT is centred on the possibilities for healthcare, education, public transport and other improvements in civic life, IT managers will need to consider the time- and order-sensitive nature of IoT data.

Whether it’s sorting through peak-hour public transport or remotely monitoring elderly citizens’ health, getting accurate and reliable data on time and in order is important so that automated decision-making has all the available information.

That means data should be sent in real-time, or time stamped in batches.

Planning

Getting the architecture right will be key to successfully hosting the rapid connectivity that is a core feature of the IoT. To avoid storage and networks creaking under the weight of the data, and to account for yet-to-be-conceived IoT applications, data centre operators will have to completely rethink systems and management.

One consideration might be the move away from big data centres to smaller pockets of storage across a range of sites. Coping with the enormous number of devices and sensors will be a challenge that will almost force a return to a more distributed network. But that might also mean a better handle on security.

A host of other planning considerations will need to come into play, including network bandwidth to cope with increasing frequency of the packets of small data, how that data will be backed up and the increased processing required to sort through all the data that comes into the network.
While the IoT promises to drive a new industrial revolution, the gauntlet has been thrown down for enterprise data centre operators to meet the challenges of its introduction.

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Improving Aged Care with Mobile Devices

Visual devices such as tablets enable aged care workers to provide a better level of care, according to Australian Ageing Agenda. The result is from a study run at 12 Wesley Mission aged care facilities in Queensland.

The purpose of the research was to evaluate the benefits of providing care workers with a tablet loaded with a picture care plan (PCP). The PCP is an illustrated point-of-care app that illustrates information to care workers prior to providing care to the resident.

A handy device

87 per cent of the 85 respondents found the app to be helpful, while 76 per cent said it increased resident safety and quality of care. A further 69 per cent said it made them more confident in their work.

More than half of participants (60 per cent) often or always used the app when providing care, while 15 per cent said they used it sometimes. The main feedback for the tablet and PCP was that it was user friendly (81 per cent), helpful (75 per cent), and time-saving (73 per cent).

When it came to areas of improvement, respondents highlighted the weight of the device (306 grams). Some commented that the tablet was somewhat heavy and pulled on their utility belt or shoulder bag.

Wi-Fi speed was also highlighted as an issue, with a slow connection resulting in a delay in accessing information. While the tablets were speedy and user friendly, the information only displayed as fast as the Wi-Fi they were connected to.

Support the technology

As the pilot with the tablets demonstrated, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure to support devices used by care workers. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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The Advantages of Virtualising Your Office

Virtualization is an industry buzzword that may be as widespread as the Cloud, but it is just as often misunderstood. For that reason, many businesses have not fully realised the potential benefits of the technology.

Doing more with less

Virtualization is the process of establishing the virtual version of a technology that may be found in an office such as a network, server, storage device, or operating system. That means both physical and non-physical pieces of technology have the potential to move from the office and virtualise in a different location.

If done correctly, many businesses could benefit from substantial cost savings and flexibility advantages by implementing a structured virtualization plan in their offices. A lot of the savings of virtualization are related to hardware and software purchases, or depending on the situation, the lack of them.

For instance, virtualization makes it possible to install multiple operating systems on a single server.  This means one hardware configuration can effectively serve as four or five different configurations, saving both hardware and energy costs.

The digital domain

Networks and associated resources can also be virtualized, with a single real network divided into several virtual ones. In addition to the cost savings, the structural complexity of the network will be simplified and performance will be optimised.

A well-implemented virtualization scheme can make it easier to rollout hardware and application upgrades. This is because virtualised technology exists as digital data, so it can be copied and installed quicker than on physical devices.

Virtualization is also a good way to outsource IT services so systems for different businesses can be run virtually and securely on the same server. This type of flexibility not only cuts down on IT-related spending, but also frees up physical office space and better realigns resources within the company.

Eliminate the complexity

A quick and easy way to virtualise your network environment is with BTAS Network, which is available as Network on Demand (NoD). It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customers can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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Seniors Benefit from Going Online

seniors benefit from digital

A university study has found the use of digital technology by older people contributed to their social and emotional wellbeing. Australian Ageing Agenda has seen this research lead to grassroots initiative to bring more local seniors online.

Transitioning online

A professor from the University of Wollongong carried out the research and found that the social elements of the Internet helped older people deal with their isolation. The results from the research were so encouraging that the professor started a not-for-profit social enterprise, called “Living Connected”, to help older people understand and use digital technologies.

The digital inclusion of seniors has the potential to mean a lower burden of care for both the Government and carers. By using a computer to engage and connect, older people will be able to do things for themselves and this can translate to a better quality of life.

Living Connected, which includes a volunteer-run personalised home service, has so far helped approximately 50 seniors in the Illawarra region in Sydney. Some the services include computer classes for aged care residents and workshops to train volunteers.

Bringing it to the masses

The initiative is in the middle of a crowdfunding drive to help bring it to more aged Australians in more locations. People in Brisbane and Adelaide have already expressed interest in expanding Living Connected to their communities.

The NBN has also looked into Living Connected, and the crowdfunding aims to grab the attention of other larger supporters. Longer term, the goal is to develop systems that will aid in trouble shooting client problems remotely.

Expanding the scope and reach of Living Connected will ensure that the group can continue to provide support for older people who cannot afford the technical costs of going online, or don’t understand how to use the Internet. Once those barriers are removed, they can experience the social aspect of the Internet and not feel as isolated anymore.

Connect your guests

In order for older Australians to fully enjoy the benefits of being connected to the Internet, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you don’t need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remain focused on running your village and are not distracted by the running of your technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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Gigabit Networks Will Need to be Wired

gigabit.jpg

Superfast Gigabit broadband may be around the corner, but Network World expects the highest speeds to come from wired, not wireless, networks. Adequate planning and the right technology will also be key in unlocking the full potential of thousand megabit broadband.

Preparing for Gigabit

Although Wi-Fi is now commonplace and often the preferred method to connect to networks, upgraded wired installs will better handle the throughput of Gigabit. Implementing Gigabit at a networking level is also expected to be simpler with the wired route.

Although today’s Wi-Fi technology is already speedy, Internet metrics company, Ookla, recommends using a Cat 6 Ethernet cable for Gigabit. If taking the Wi-Fi route, the latest standards, such as 160 MHz channel, four-stream 802.11ac with 5GHz frequencies, are required for Gigabit, though even then it will be limited to 600 Mbps.

Another issue affecting Gigabit over wireless is signal interference. A sporadic and halting connection, due to nearby interference to Wi-Fi, will mean a less than perfect Gigabit experience.

Going back to wired

To achieve the fastest results with Gigabit, a hardwired connection will be needed. Cat 5e specs should be able to handle Gigabit, but Cat 6 will provide the highest and most reliable speeds, since it is less susceptible to crosstalk than Cat 5e.

The Ethernet ports on a router should also be checked that they are prepared for Gigabit speeds, as well as whether the router’s CPU can handle the load. x86 processors are the fastest option, followed by ARM and MIPS.

The trend for some businesses has been to move away from wired to wireless, but the introduction of Gigabit may push them to return to Ethernet. This will ensure they can use the promised speeds of Gigabit to adopt newer technology, such as virtual reality, and maximise existing ones, such as video streaming.

Time for an upgrade

BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. Not only do we offer choice when it comes to creating the right network that runs fast, we also provide you with a variety of ways to invest in it.

In addition to capital and operational expenditure options, BTAS Network is available as NoD. It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customers can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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Videoconferencing: Productivity gains a screen away

Saving time and money, boosting collaboration and cutting emissions – these are just a few of the reasons behind the growing popularity of videoconferencing. Here's a quick look at the many business benefits.

Benefits of videoconferencing

While your travel agent might not like it, videoconferencing can lead to a huge reduction in business travel time and cost while increasing productivity. A study by the Carbon Disclosure Project found that businesses could achieve a return on investment in as little as 15 months, while also curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Other benefits include a faster decision-making process, maximizing the input of key employees and lowering stress on staff, resulting in improved morale and better work practices, such as allowing for telecommuting.

Strategically, videoconferencing can help firms get to market faster and improve customer responsiveness, while speeding response time to crisis events.

Gigoam Research found that 87 percent of remote users “feel more connected to their team and process when using videoconferencing.” When your colleague in another city is suddenly right on your screen, staff discussions become a lot more engaging – although telecommuters will need to ditch those pyjamas for office clothes.

How do these systems operate?

A variety of software and hardware applications have been developed to facilitate videoconferencing.

Common bundles allow you to conduct interactive videoconference calls while collaborating on individual projects. Depending on the bundle, these services may include new telecommunication devices or computer workstations which operate in unison with advanced software.

These systems allow businesses to converse with their colleagues in rural locations or overseas while working on the same report or file, allowing for document sharing and storage.

How can these systems cut costs?

First-class executive travel is a thing of the past with videoconferencing, since the only travel required is moving to the conference facility in the office, or to your desktop computer or smartphone.

In addition to the savings in business travel time and cost, the elevated quality of collaboration allows businesses to avoid project double-ups and the time-consuming process of back-and-forth file exchanges.

Videoconferencing can unlock considerable cost savings for any organisation while delivering productivity gains through enhanced collaboration, along with improved morale and environmental benefits. For businesses that embrace the trend, global communication is now just a screen away.

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Why it’s Time for a Network Tune-Up

Your network and telecommunications system may have served your business well for many years, but that does not mean it is running at peak performance. As more technology is added to support your growing business, performance and optimisation may have been overlooked.

It is possible that your company may have outgrown the technology environment that was set in place years ago. While your network, security, access permissions, and applications appear to be working well, there could be some key technical issues slowing down the overall performance.

Looking in the right places

The only way to know what is really happening with your telecommunications environment is to look under the hood. This can be achieved with a communications performance snapshot, which assesses your infrastructure for any technical weaknesses, security risks, and key areas that can be improved upon.

One key benefit of a communications overview is finding ways to improve your existing infrastructure. In certain cases, a small upgrade could be enough to improve efficiency and bring about significant cost savings.

The performance snapshot could also uncover instances where incorrect settings are used or security has been incorrectly configured. These are quick and inexpensive fixes that would remain unresolved if the communications overview had not been carried out.

Find out the bottlenecks

Staff productivity is important for businesses, but inefficient and unreliable technology can hold them back. If your network is running slow or your telecommunications drops out, this affects business deadlines and can costs you in lost man-hours.

A common culprit may be outdated or legacy hardware. Updating the right components to newer and faster alternatives can bring about significant improvement across the whole communications environment.

You may also have some solutions that are close to full capacity, so you can use that insight to make long term plans for upgrades. This will ensure you are putting the necessary focus on the continued improvement of your entire network while not spending too much all at once.

Get more from what you have

A performance snapshot can also show you what is clogging up your communications environment. In addition to knowing about the congested areas, you’ll also see what’s no longer necessary and how you can free up further capacity on your network to speed up processes.

Insights from the performance snapshot will aid in creating a proactive environment. With a reactive approach, you are limited to waiting for something to happen, and when it does time may be wasted in reporting and fixing the error.

Having the ability to be proactive means potential technical issues are fixed before they can become a problem for your business. You’ll have the necessary information to identify any shortcomings that could cause potentially serious damage down the line, and ensure they are corrected.

Snapshot your performance

The value of a communications overview is that it provides a holistic view of your current setup. Beyond understanding what the network topology, security, capacity, and weak points are, there is value in assessing existing contracts with external vendors and providers.

We are able to assist with BTAS Snapshot, where we inspect your current telecommunications infrastructure to get a picture of what works and what could be improved. In cases where improvements need to be made, we look at the overall complexity and the potential savings.

BTAS Snapshot is designed to provide an “early warning” look into a business’ network infrastructure. It’s not an audit or a consultancy, but a holistic overview of an network environment that identifies any weaknesses and inefficiencies.

While it provides insight into how more radical changes can be made to the communications infrastructure, it is the “quick wins” that bring the immediate benefits to a business. Not only can BTAS Snapshot help to justify any additional investments to a communications environment, in certain situations it could also potentially cover the costs.

To find out more about BTAS Snapshot and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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Finding the health apps that help

In our technology-driven world, the smartphone is an extension of our bodies – a go-to when we need, want or simply think about anything.

With access to Earth’s collective knowledge at the touch of a button, including information about our own bodies, each passing day brings more advanced and amazing healthcare tools. With so many health apps available, people are self-diagnosing before they even see a professional. And with so many choices, it can be hard to know which apps are the best.

We’ve collected the most innovative and useful apps below. They can point you in the right direction, reduce unnecessary callouts, improve data collection for long-term care and boost the accuracy of diagnosis.

WebMD

In tandem with perhaps the most famous medical website around, the WebMD app features physician-reviewed health content, symptom checkers, drug and treatment information, and even medication reminders.

First Aid – Australian Red Cross

This helpful app features vital first-aid information along with step-by-step videos and guides covering everything from broken bones to getting caught outside in a hurricane. Even better, it preloads data on your phone, so you can still access the information even if there’s no reception.

Sugar Sense

This app is a must for every diabetic. Not only does it track blood sugar, glucose, carbs and gives an estimate on HbA1c levels, but it also includes guides that show how diet can impact blood-sugar levels.

AsthmaMD

As the name implies, this app is dedicated to tracking and monitoring asthma, its causes and relevant treatments. It also passes on specific data to research scientists who study the condition.

MyChart

An easy way to keep track of lab reports, appointment information, current medications, immunisation history and other health-related data. Aligned through healthcare providers, it is possible to message clinics directly for appointments, prescription refills or non-urgent requests.

CareZone

Managing medication schedules, dosages and stocks can be a headache at the best of times. Using your phone’s camera, CareZone can log a variety of relevant information. Symptoms can then be shared and recorded with doctors (or family), insurance information is always on hand and reminders can be set for appointments.

These are only a few of the countless health apps available, but they are extremely useful for you and your patients – with the added advantage of regular updates and improvements – to streamline the healthcare process.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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The Benefits of Unified Communications

Unified communications (UC) has the ability to streamline all channels of communication, converging email, instant messaging, voice and data to ensure all of your systems and software are speaking to each other. It’s also easy to use, with one user interface for all staff across a range of devices most applicable to them.

Single interface

With UC, you will have access to the office via a range and multitude of devices, whether it is smartphones, PCs, laptops, or tablets. This means you are able to create your office environment anywhere you please, and work just as effectively.

You will also have a single interface on your PC, smartphone, or tablet. This enables you to see in a handy overview every colleague, their current status, what device they are using, and options on how to contact them.

Convergence can significantly improve the way you, groups and companies interact. This is because a single, streamlined platform increases response times and bridges gaps between dispersed teams, while real time, effective communication can increase decision making in the business.

More functionality

UC comes with advanced telephony functions such as short-number dialling, which eliminates the use of area codes, and is particularly helpful with businesses that are located across geographical areas. There is also a unified voicemail box that works for multiple communication devices, such as a desk, home, mobile, or IP phone connected to a computer.

Advanced call forwarding supports different types of devices and incoming calls can search for an idle extension in a department. Multiple devices can also be set to ring simultaneously regardless of their location, ensuring the caller gets through to the right person at the right time.

You can also make use of a single number for all of your phone devices. With it, you can start a phone call from the desk phone and continue the call on the smartphone as you walk away from the desk and out of the office.

Bringing workers together

Today’s modern workplace is no longer limited to the office desk, with staff often working outside of the office in various capacities. Mid-sized organisations of 100 to 1000 can use UC to achieve greater efficiency from staff and infrastructure through smoother and more reliable communications.

BTAS Unicoms provides mid-sized organisations with integrated voice, video, messaging, data, mobility services and collaboration tools that are secure, robust and agile. Our solution is designed to help staff easily contact (presence), communicate (voice, video, and conference), and collaborate (share and edit documents) with their internal or external stakeholders.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Unicoms can enable your business.

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What to Expect From 802.11ay Wi-Fi

New Wi-Fi technology called 802.11ay promises higher speeds and greater reach, according to Network World. It will also support an even wider range of products than 802.11ad.

802.11ay promises to be a very scalable spec. 802.11ad has one set of data rates that everyone supports, but 802.11ay will have more parameters to deliver a wider range of performance and products.

Instead of viewing 802.11ay as a new spec, it will be more of an extension of 802.11ad. All the basic principles of how the networks form will remain the same, but greater capacity will be added on top of it

Ramping up 802.11ad

The IEEE Task Group's first draft for 802.11ay is targeted for later this year. If the first draft does get completed then, the first 802.11ay products may appear on the market within 12 months.

In the meantime, the current, high speed 802.11ad will pick up more market share. 2017 is expected to be the year when companies start to release more 802.11ad products.

The older 802.11ac format delivers solid performance but it has reached its limit, particularly on the consumer side. If a company wants true gigabit wireless networking for their applications, 802.11ad is the only way to deliver the necessary speeds.

Businesses are expected to benefit from the added capacity of 802.11ay. Cloud applications demand a lot of bandwidth and low latency, and only high performance Wi-Fi is capable of delivering a good experience.

Time for an upgrade

A lot of the easy PC applications have been moved to the Cloud. However, the next wave of software is already demanding a lot more bandwidth and lower latency that only a modern network can deliver.

BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. Not only do we offer choice when it comes to the right network for your BYOD strategy, we also provide you with a variety of ways to invest in it.

In additional to capital and operational expenditure options, BTAS Network is available as NoD. It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customer can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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How Much Data Can Fibre Carry?

A typical fibre network can carry a lot of data, but experimental technology from Facebook and Nokia has found a way to boost its capacity by 2.5 times. According to Network World, the two companies have been using a submarine cable across the Atlantic to test ways to push more data through fibre optic.

Nokia recently tested new technology on a pair of fibres used by Facebook on the 5,500-kilometer AEConnect cable in the Atlantic between Ireland and New York. A new technique developed for increasing cable efficiency managed to boost the capacity of the fibre connection by approximately 2.5 times.

Currently, Facebook's fibre can carry approximately 13Tbps (terabits per second). Using the recently tested experimental technology called PCS (probabilistic constellation shaping), the fibre could transmit a record-setting 32Tbps.

Nokia optical networking marketing director, Kyle Hollasch, said fibre’s ability to carry data depends on various factors, such as how long it is and the characteristics of its glass. "Every fibre in the ground, everywhere in the world, is different," he said.

Pushing the boundaries

Companies like Facebook are already pushing the limits of fibre, with high resolution video straining networks that link consumers and datacentres. The good thing about fibre optic is its capacity can be boosted from what was available when the cable was laid.

New equipment, such as PCS, on each end of a fibre link can help to transmit data more efficiently. Nokia expects the technology to be ready for submarine cables and fibre networks, several which Facebook has invested in, in three years.

"Facebook pays the same for this cable regardless of how much data they put on it," Hollasch said. “So they might as well put as much as they can.”

Fibre for everyone

The speed of fibre optic has made it a top choice for large business such as Facebook, but mid-sized companies can also benefit from the connection. BTAS Connect is already providing fast fibre-powered Internet and WAN to numerous mid-sized businesses, and it could be yours as well from $400 per month (plus GST).

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect can enable your business.

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Leaders Summit 2017: Customers, Capital, and Technology Lead Aged Care

The customer, capital, and technology control the state of the aged care industry today. In the next five years, these three factors will grow to dictate everything done in villages.

DoComeMonday Media Publisher, Chris Baynes, made this observation at Leaders Summit 2017, the leading conference for the aged care industry, which was held on March 16-17 at the Hilton in Sydney. BTAS was present at this year’s event and continued its sponsorship from last year.

Baynes said the influx of baby boomers will create a completely new but different market for aged care providers. “Early baby boomers will want to stay at home and this is already taking place in the US,” he said. “If we don’t take a hard look at ourselves, we run the risk of being no longer relevant in five years.”

In the area of technology, Baynes foresee Big Data being used by villages to make informed decisions about residents and their care. “Big Data is not something we talk about in aged care, but we’re going to have to be involved with it in a significant way,” he said.

Industry leaders will also need to find effective methods to recycling old villages. “We have 45,000 units that need to be redeveloped and this is a major problem,” Baynes said. “Even if it is done over a ten year period, that’s only 4,500 units per year.”

Scaling up to demand

Recently, the Treasurer of Australia announced the introduction of incentives for people aged 55 and over to downsize from their large family homes. These incentives consist of more lenient rules around the aged pension, caps on superannuation, and an once-in-a-lifetime windfall to downsize from their home.

If that windfall is up to $200,000, then 50,000 families a year may consider downsizing and look for alternate accommodation. Although the incentive program is expected to roll out in the next couple of weeks, Baynes does not expect it to bring immediate benefits to the aged care industry.

“The reality is if we have 50,000 new customers, there’s no way we’ll have a spot for them,” he said. “For a number of reasons, we are unable to produce 50,000 units in the next five years.”

In the long term, apartment builders are expected to be the big winners, since people will be downsizing to them. The aged care industry will not only need to be aware of this trend, but also find ways to adapt to it.

Connecting carers and residents

In the next five years, aged and healthcare facilities will need fast and reliable technology infrastructure to meet the needs of elderly Australians. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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Frost & Sullivan: Health, Aged Care Tech Growth in 2017

Leaders Summit 2017, the leading conference for the aged care industry, will be held this week (March 16-17) at the Hilton in Sydney. BTAS will continue its sponsorship from last year and be present at this year’s event.

Leading up to Leaders Summit, Frost & Sullivan announced that healthcare services, aged care technologies, and screening and diagnostics are key growth areas for Asia Pacific in 2017. The analyst firm highlighted a need for innovation in terms of site-of-care delivery, treatment pathways, and payment models in order to deliver better healthcare.

Greater demand in Asia Pacific

Major health policies and initiatives are expected to be realised in part in 2017, which in turn will drive growth in the industry. The Asia Pacific healthcare market, which includes medical devices and healthcare technology, is expected to represent close to 30 per cent of global revenue in 2017.

The healthcare sector in Asia Pacific is also one of the fastest growing globally, with a growth rate of eight per cent projected for 2017 versus the global projected growth rate of 4.8 per cent.  The means the Asia Pacific healthcare market will increase from US$472.5 billion in 2016 to US$510.7 billion this year.

This growth can be attributed to industry concepts such as value-based care, personalisation and preventative healthcare gaining acceptance. This in turn is creating demand amongst consumers and healthcare providers for new technologies and innovative care delivery platforms.

Digitally-driven healthcare

Ageing populations worldwide continue to stretch the healthcare system and threaten an unsustainable rise in healthcare spending. Australia joins Japan, Korea, and Singapore as the fastest aging nations in Asia, with the ABS predicting that 7.75 million Australians will be over 65 years of age by 2044.

Frost & Sullivan Partner, Rhenu Bhuller, said these social trends will push healthcare service providers to reinvent their business models. “Care will move toward community and home, leading to opportunities for tele-health, remote patient monitoring and mhealth," she said.

The successful implementation of remote care delivery models in countries like Australia will help transition healthcare from tertiary/secondary care towards the home. As the industry moves toward this digitally-driven care delivery model, providers and carers will turn to technologies such as Big Data and predictive analytics, AI and robotics to do more with less.

Preparing for the future

In order for technology to provide aged Australians with the freedom to exercise real choice, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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The Problem with Wi-Fi when Travelling

Internet access has become ubiquitous with travel, but in many cases it is still failing to satisfy end users. The Durango Herald looked at how travellers often struggle to find reliable and reasonably priced hot spots to use on their trip.

For many travellers, fast and accessible Wi-Fi has become more important than a hotel’s location, parking facilities and even free breakfast. This was the case for 7 in 10 travellers surveyed for a Research+Data Insights study.

With the majority of business travellers carrying three devices, usually a phone, a tablet and a notebook PC, they are looking to connect wherever they are. Research by high-density Wi-Fi provider, Xirrus, found that 83 per cent of users connect at hotels, 72 per cent at cafés, and 64 per cent at airports.

The connected world

With every traveller wanting to be online, wireless providers are having trouble keeping up with demand. Wi-Fi in the travel sector may have reached a tipping point, where both demand and frustration is causing people to give up on connecting and going online.

The travel industry is trying to keep up with demand by upgrading from 2.4 GHz wireless access points to the speedier 5 GHz standard. But not everyone has made the change and some have done it incorrectly, which only adds to the irritation felt by travellers.

The number of wireless hotspots worldwide is expected to grow to more than 430 million by 2020. This is a sixfold increase, but even at this rate it may not be enough to meet the demand of end users in what has become an "always-on society."

Change on the horizon

For now, travellers can either carry their own wireless hotspot from a network or they can take their chances with the overloaded networks at airports or hotels. But down the road, the industry may develop better standards that offer faster connection speeds.

In the short term, new technologies will help with managing the network load. Hotels and airports are starting to adopt a new standard called Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint to let users just log in once and avoid repeating the lengthy authenticating process for each new Wi-Fi network.

The industry trade group, Wi-Fi Alliance, expects things to further improve as hotels and other hotel destinations refresh their wireless environments. “In 2017, travellers will benefit from more seamless and secure access to Wi-Fi networks, resulting in a better overall experience with Wi-Fi while traveling,” Kevin Robinson, marketing vice president, said.

Time for an upgrade

With today’s travellers demanding continuous connectivity and greater autonomy in anything they do, hotels need to have the right infrastructure in place to deliver these services. A hotel knows it cannot run out of water or bars of soap, towels or other essentials, and nowadays bandwidth falls in the same list of essentials.

BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. Not only do we offer choice when it comes to the right network for your BYOD strategy, we also provide you with a variety of ways to invest in it.

In additional to capital and operational expenditure options, BTAS Network is available as NoD. It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customer can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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Properly Deploying Unified Communications

A growing number of businesses rely on Unified Communications (UC) for their daily operation, and a proper implementation can provide workers with numerous benefits. At the same time, UC is a complex solution that comes with its own potential pitfalls and problems.

Avoiding the risks

In the Internet age, there are no shortage of UC solutions available on the market. With so many choices to pick from, businesses run the risk of adopting a solution that does not fulfil their desired business outcomes.

With many working parts and critical points to consider, UC deployments are not easy purchases to make. Many things could potentially go wrong with the deployment and you run the risk of UC falling short on the operational improvements, productivity gains, and a means to strategically differentiate the business.

Even when UC is rolled out, you may find that the features and applications originally planned for deployment have only been partially implemented. In some cases, certain promised features and applications may not be identified as missing until years later.

Overseeing the deployment

Unsuccessful UC deployment can sometimes be a traced to a company dealing directly with a vendor. When rolling out a UC system, a vendor may manage the process on the client’s behalf.

On the surface, this may appeal to a client since they can rely on the vendor to look after the project. In turn, the client could potentially save money by not assigning any resources to oversee the project.

However, just because the vendor will carry out the deployment does not automatically mean they will manage the project end-to-end. The vendor may only be interested in deploying the solution on time, and not managing your resources or coordinating your team.

Guided by a partner

By focusing merely on timely delivery, the vendor may not provide the solution you purchased to exact specification. When the final UC solution falls short of your expectations, it will only lead to further complication and more money will spent and not saved.

That’s where a trusted partner like BTAS comes in. Not only will your UC solution be delivered on time and within budget, but a partner has the industry knowledge and project managers to assist your team in delivering precisely what you wanted to ensure you achieve the expected return on investment.

Having a trusted advisor deploy and manage UC will have a direct and significant impact on your overall return on investment. One way to quantify the value is to compare the total cost of the investment to the cost of having a trusted advisor oversee it to successful completion.

Bringing workers together

Today’s modern workplace is no longer limited to the office desk, with staff often working outside of the office in various capacities. Mid-sized organisations of 100 to 1000 can use UC to achieve greater efficiency from staff and infrastructure through smoother and more reliable communications.

BTAS Unicoms provides mid-sized organisations with integrated voice, video, messaging, data, mobility services and collaboration tools that are secure, robust and agile. Our solution is designed to help staff easily contact (presence), communicate (voice, video, and conference), and collaborate (share and edit documents) with their internal or external stakeholders.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Unicoms can enable your business.

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BTAS Modernises Aged Care for Thomas Holt

Technology publication, IT Brief Australia, reported on the new network and communications infrastructure being rolled out by BTAS at NSW aged care facility, Thomas Holt Aged Care. The upgrade is based on technology from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) and will benefit the operations connected to the daily care and experience of residents.

Time for an upgrade

Thomas Holt Aged Care CIO, George Lymbers, said the technology refresh comes at a time when the aged care industry is being disrupted by the Baby Boomer generation. “We’re facing competition from the likes of AirTasker, Menulog and even Netflix, all technologies that enable the elderly to procure odd jobs, have food delivered and be entertained without leaving their home,” he said.

Thomas Holt will use the new infrastructure as a means to deploy mobile devices to all nurses and aged care workers. In the process, Thomas Holts’ new Seymour Shaw Court village in the Sutherland Shire will become one of the most modern aged care facilities in the country.

Lymbers said the technology from ALE will allow Thomas Holt to play an active role in today’s new age of hyper connectivity. “It enables residents to have the exact same technology experience that would have at home, coupled with professional medical and aged care,” he said.

A change in the industry

ALE Healthcare and Hospitality Director, Maud Holvast, admits that technology has not always been a top priority for the aged care industry. However, with innovative deployments at facilities such as Thomas Holt, this is starting to change.

“The aged care industry as a whole, and in particular Thomas Holt, is truly at the forefront of technology,” she said.  “IT can help in providing an array of improved outcomes for aged care residents."

Holvast has high hopes that the benefits created by the network and communications infrastructure will encourage other aged care providers to undertake their own technology refresh. “Thomas Holt aged care will be instrumental in creating a new vision and bringing it to life,” she said.

Make your move

In order for technology to provide aged Australians with the freedom to exercise real choice, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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Lessons Learned from Moving Offices

February was the month when BTAS moved into its new office. This meant the old space had to be cleaned up while the new location was redesigned for our needs.

Beyond managing both offices spaces, we had to make sure all of our employees had a smooth transition, particularly from a technology perspective. Here are some lessons we learned from our moving experience.

Planning ahead

Timing and preparation played a big role in our office move. We started our planning as early as possible and prepared for almost every eventuality to prevent the worst from occurring.

In addition to planning out every detail of the timing of the move, we made sure to budget as correctly as possible. Hidden fees or add-on services can sometimes be charged at the last minute, so we budgeted extra to cover any extra costs by movers, designers and architects.

Setting and enforcing deadlines ensured our employees cleaned out their desks at the old location and were ready to set up at the new building. Everyone, even the smallest players, was informed of the deadlines to ensure everything happened in the right order and on time, which in turn reduced stress on moving day.

Staying organised

Clearly labelling furniture and boxes with colour coded tags assisted the movers with handling. It also helped them in correctly placing these items in the new office.

When it came to planning the layout of our new office, we sent someone to obtain the exact measurements of each individual space. These measurements were then compared to those of existing and new furniture to see how they would fit in the allocated space.

Moving to a new office was also an opportunity to change to the way the physical space looked and operated. To do that, we asked employees early on what they need to be more productive, and then used that feedback to make decisions about furniture and layout that best suited their work requirements.

Ready from day one

The physical move to our new office was handled by a moving company with years of experience in carrying successful relocations. When it came to moving our telecommunications to our new address and ensuring it was working on day one, we were able to draw upon our own two decades of skills and experience doing it for clients.

BTAS Snapshot provides a high-level management summary of the current status of the organisation’s communication environment. The on-site and remote discovery, analysis and measurement activities take on average three weeks, and are followed by a detailed report and stakeholder presentation.

When it comes to upgrading your communications setup, BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. This includes 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

Not only do we offer choice when it comes to the right network for you, we also provide you with a variety of ways to invest in it. In additional to capital and operational expenditure options, BTAS Network is available as NoD.

BTAS Connect uses fast fibre as the backbone to deliver high speed Internet and Wi-Fi to a mid-size organisation. In addition to offering choice to companies in terms of design and architecture, it delivers cost efficiency by providing the latest in technology and increased competitiveness around pricing in the market.

To find out more about the above products and how they can help your business, visit the product pages below or contact us.

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Benefits of a Modern Contact Centre

In a previous post, we looked at the importance of having a modern contact centre. Beyond improved call handling, having the right technology can influence your call centre in several ways

Powered by the Cloud

The move towards Cloud technology has already benefited many areas of business, and it is increasingly finding its way into contact centres of all sizes. The Cloud’s rapid adoption has been due to its scalability, portability, and improved business continuity.

The Cloud also helps to reduce a company’s reliance and spending on internal IT resources and systems upgrades. Customer feedback, multi-channel contact and social media, and workforce and knowledge management systems were once limited to larger contact centres, but the Cloud has brought this functionality to smaller ones.

While most companies still prefer to operate their own contact centre, there are some that harness the Cloud and partner with third parties to add extra capacity. Some functions that are outsourced include overflow calls, specialised skillset consultations, and after-hours or 24x7 contact management.

Some companies will prefer for the third party contact centre to be within a certain radius of the in-house one to allow for hot site functionality. Other businesses can use technology to extend their contact centre to third parties in interstate and overseas locations for risk mitigation purposes.

Empowering the workforce

A modern contact centre can benefit your staff as much as customers. Companies that offer their contact centre staff flexibility in the workplace can benefit from more engaged employees, lower attrition, and longer tenure, which in turn translates to reduced recruiting, training and operational costs.

With the right technology in place, a contact centre can have flexible rostering, work-at-home option, job-sharing, and time off for exceeding targets. If someone needs to rest their voice or has a child that needs to be taken care of, there is the flexibility to shift to email/chat or quality assurance rather than phone work.

Better facilities for employees can also help to compensate for the sedentary and sometimes repetitive nature of the job. Providing your employees with the right solutions is important in managing calls, but it also provides them with a higher degree of comfort and satisfaction at their workplace.

Putting modern technology in the hands of call staff can aid in managing customer complaints and reduce costs for the company. Some companies have moved to a complete call recording environment to investigate complaint calls, enabling them to prove compliance and accuracy to any complaints made to the industry watchdog.

Connect your contact centre

Consumers now expect a convenient, satisfying and consistent experience at all times, and have little patience for companies that are unable to deliver. This evolving marketplace has also put pressure on businesses to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency while remaining compliant with industry regulations and policies.

BTAS Contact Centre is multi-channel solution, so customers will be able to contact you any time they want in their communication channel of preference. By offering customers choice and engaging with them on their preferred channel, your business will become more customer-centric and efficient.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Contact Centre can enable your business.

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