BT has been pulling out the stops to make life easier for the its Cloud Voice and Cloud Phone customers to keep going while they are confined to the home during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Voice is still absolutely key to the everyday workings of most small businesses. It’s important to be able to stay accessible and in-touch on your usual number. Ever since restrictions started to be imposed, BT has been keeping customers informed of the options available.
But with changes coming every day, it’s not easy to keep track of exactly what’s happening. To make it easier, we have set out below the basics of the different options and assistance that’s available to BT Cloud Voice customers.
Take your IP phone home
A set of hints and tips on how to get the best out of remote working has been sent to all Cloud Voice customers. This explains that you can simply take your IP-enabled handset to any location where you have Internet access. At home, just plug it into your broadband router and off you go. Most home connections have plenty of bandwidth to spare for IP voice (you’d only need about 500Kbps).
Forward your calls to a mobile or home phone
Alternatively, you can forward calls to another number. Before leaving the office, you dial *72*, followed by the number you want to divert to. To remove this when you’re back, dial *73. To set up Call Forwarding using the BT Cloud Voice Business Portal further information is available here. You do need to know that the cost for the forwarded part of the call will be charged at your normal call rate.
Free BT Communicator app and training
Existing Connect and Basic customers are being offered a free BT Communicator app and free training on Cloud Voice for 90 days.
Cloud Phone – 90 days free conferencing
For Cloud Phone customers, BT is providing a 90 days free license upgrade to the Connect app, thus enabling them to conduct audio and video meetings on a PC or mobile phone, Similarly, new customers for Cisco Webex are being given 90 days free usage while existing customers can add more users at no charge.
BT has been working to increase network capacity and smooth out any bottlenecks in the system to ensure everyone can work at home without difficulty. The BT network is built to handle huge evening demand peaks (up to 17 Terabits per second), whereas daytime usage is only around a quarter of that figure, so you can be quite confident that the network can cope. Do keep in mind that video conferencing and collaboration applications will use more bandwidth and if connections start slowing down, you might need to make some changes to the way work. You can call BT for help on that – see below.
Expert advice on remote working
BT has a team of experts working who can help you understand how to use video-conferencing and collaboration tools that are provided with your service. They can also offer advice on your network capacity and upgrading, if that should be needed.
Making sure it’s business as usual
BT has a robust business continuity plan designed to manage scenarios just like this and is working hard to minimise any disruption. While the situation is changing every day, BT is actively monitoring developments and will take further steps, if and as necessary, to ensure continuity of service for customers.
Throughout the crisis, you can be sure that BT and DMSL will be keeping you informed and up to date with all developments that might impact your voice services.
This is just a very simple summary of what BT is doing to ensure that small business customers in particular can go on working normally from home. Of course, DMSL is also here to help and we are only a phone call or an email away, so you can be confident that, if you need help, you will be able to get it.
While it won’t be possible to guarantee that there will be no disruptions or hiccups, you can be sure that BT is doing everything it can to minimise that chances of you missing a call and giving you every opportunity to carry on with your business as if you were working in your usual office location.
No-one would wish anything like this to happen again, but equally, no- one could have predicted the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it would have on everything and everyone. It’s always smart to be prepared for the unexpected.
For now, we must all keep calm and carry on. Once the whole crisis is over, it will be worth reviewing how you were able to respond and what other services or resources would have been useful under such exceptional circumstances.