OSWESTRY, SHROPSHIRE, 11 OCTOBER 2017 – Hollis Office Solutions, a leading provider of enterprise and education technology solutions, has announced the appointment of Simon Hollister as Sales Director. In this new role, he will be responsible for managing all sales activities and the development and delivery of an ongoing strategy for growth encompassing the company’s […]


Hollis Office Solutions, the leading Shropshire-based provider of business support solutions, has expanded its portfolio with the addition of the latest internet telephony systems. This further expands the capability of the company which has an established reputation for delivering document management and IT infrastructure solutions to customers operating in both the public and private sectors throughout Shropshire, Mid Wales and the North West.

According to Mark Bamford, General Manager at Hollis Office Solutions: “After recently expanding our IT portfolio with the latest Anti-Virus/IT Security solutions to protect against the rising tide of cyber threats, the new generation of internet telephone systems is an ideal fit for the business.  With a rich feature set, including auto attendant, voice mail, call recording, video and audio conferencing and free calls via the data network, the latest internet telephony systems offer significantly more functionality for up to half the price of traditional telephone systems. They also integrate with installed applications such as customer relationship management to enhance service provision.”

Elements Europe, the Shropshire-based manufacturer of Room Modules, Bathroom Pods and Light Steel Frame solutions for the construction industry, is one of the company’s first customers and has upgraded its existing IP-based telephony platform. Hollis installed BroadWorks Receptionist, an IP Telephony attendant console that provides staff with web browser-based access to traditional switchboard functionality using any internet-enabled computer. With a click of a mouse, users can answer and route incoming calls, distributing them to the required destination. They can also see the real-time status of all inbound/outbound calls as well as calls currently on hold to ensure all communications are efficiently managed. Callers can also be seamlessly transferred to field-based staff or employees working from home or at other locations.

Commenting on the new system, Bryce Roberts, IT Manager at Elements Europe said: “Although we were already using an IP-based telephony platform, we wanted to improve the way that the system was managed and access information showing all current telephone activity in real-time to ensure the provision of the highest level of service to every customer. We have been impressed by how Hollis quickly grasped what we were trying to achieve and recommended a solution that met all our requirements as well as providing a fast, efficient and personalised level of support at all times.”

Hollis Office Solutions is providing Elements Europe with a fully managed service to ensure that the system operates efficiently around the clock. This comprehensive service includes access to a telephone-based support team, configuration changes, software updates and any required training during normal office hours.

“We are committed to meeting the evolving needs of our customers and believe that traditional office telephone systems are destined to disappear as more organisations take advantage of the advanced communications functionality offered by the latest IP-based telephony platforms,” concluded Bamford.

Why business owners shouldn’t rush out and buy antivirus (especially from the local grocers)

Most people have now heard of the WannaCrypt (or WannaCry) malware, and most business owners have had a bit of a wakeup jolt as they realised that maybe they hadn’t paid as much attention to their system’s security as maybe they should have.

Apart from the headlines, this recent attack has also generated a plethora of companies offering anti-virus solutions to worried business owners. That a good thing surely? Well, maybe not. IT security can be a complex subject and your company data is valuable. Many firms (some only having a vague connection with the IT industry) are trying to cash in on business owners’ worries and are running advertising campaigns offering anti-virus solutions for this recent outbreak.

So, should you react to this recent malware outbreak? Probably not. And this is why: the malware exploited a known security hole in Windows. Any modern PC that was kept up-to-date simply was not vulnerable to the attack and this particular piece of malware has been stopped dead in its tracks (by an IT worker who struck lucky). Given the vast amount of publicity over this particular Windows vulnerability, it’s unlikely that anyone will waste time writing a new piece of malware that will try to push through a door that has been very firmly shut.

What then, should business owners do? The steps that can be taken to protect your business from malware and potential disaster are quite simple:

  • Make sure all your computers are running modern operating systems and are kept up-to-date. If you have any Windows XP machines, switch them off and buy a new PC. If you are still running Vista or Windows 7, then consider upgrading to Windows 10.
  • Don’t download freeware or non-business programs and don’t allow your staff to either. A business PC is a tool for work and shouldn’t be “blingged up”.
  • Get advice off professional IT security experts with industry qualifications and some history behind them.
  • Don’t use free anti-virus. Most are only free for non-business use and should you get infected you will get no support. You are better off paying for antivirus from well-known brands.
  • Make sure you back up your data. Then back it up again. Then keep backing it up every day.

It’s important that the above steps aren’t taken as a reaction to the recent outbreak, but become the company’s philosophy, as it should be for all of us, all of the time.

Mark Bamford is a Cyberoam and Fortinet qualified network security expert who has been working in the IT industry for 15 years and in the security sector for over 8 years.


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