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105 Helpline Number

In April 2016, the Government and Energy Networks Association (ENA) will be introducing a new three digit number allowing people anywhere in Britain to report a related issue with their electricity – whether it’s a power cut, a safety concern or even just for reassurance during a blackout.

This new helpline number is 105 and this will put you in direct contact with an electricity network operator.

If you use extensions within your business starting with 105, then this extension prefix will take priority, meaning that the new 105 ENA number couldn’t be accessed.

To make sure that everyone in your business is able to use this new number, you will need to re-assign any internal 105 extension numbers.

If you have any questions or need any help, then please get in touch with our Technical Support Team at tech.support@total-ltd.co.uk

And if you are looking for further information on unified communication solutions and would like to talk to a member of our Solutions Team, please call 0345 070 5450.

Apple’s March Event

On Monday 21st March Apple, launched their key note event at their headquarters in Cupertino, CA. The session was based around their new range of products, which are currently available to pre-order. Not only were they launching a new range of products, but also starting the run up to Apple’s 40th Birthday on 1st April.

iPhone SETim Cook who opened the floor for the event, welcomed the audience to view the forty years of Apple in forty seconds. In those forty years, Apple has continuously developed their extensive range of products and were thrilled to announce that there are now more than one billion active Apple devices in the world. This really highlights how much the Apple range has become integrated into people’s daily lives.

The two main products announced at the event were the iPhone SE and the iPad Pro 9.7 inch.  The iPhone SE isn’t as first expected, Apple are normally all about increasing the size of their products or slimming them down. The SE is taking a step back in its physical appearance from the previously launched iPhone 6S and 6S Plus to mirror the iPhone 5S. However it does display slightly different finishes along with a high spec platform, almost identical to the iPhone 6S. The inside has had a bit of an update with the camera, battery and faster usage, all providing the same experience as an iPhone 6S, just in a more accessible size.

“The iPhone SE is the size of a 5S, with the power of a 6S and all for an affordable price – what’s not to like?” Jack Steele, Purchasing Assistant at Total Ltd.

iPad Pro 9.7The iPad Pro 9.7 inch has also been scaled down from the recent launch of the iPad Pro, however a few system extras have been added to make the device more accessible for the user. The updated version boasts brighter true tone display, a new connector for an all new keyboard and a high-octane A9X processor. This compact iPad could prove to be more useful with transporting and functionality.

All in all, the updates seem to be very welcome. If you are looking to update your mobile device we are able to pre-order both the iPhone SE and the iPad Pro 9.7 inch. Our distributors are expecting stock week commencing the 11th of April, this date may change in either direction so please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Total Ltd.

If you would like further information on any of these products, please get in contact with our Solutions Team on either: 0345 070 5450 or solutions@total-ltd.co.uk

And the winner is…

Jack Steele, Total’s Purchasing Assistant looks back over the last 12 months to ascertain which devices were the most popular for business use – and offers his views as to what could be expected from the wider mobile world in 2016.

Apple

Apple implemented their annual release of new products in September which of course increased the hype further around the ever growing global empire. From this launch the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were launched and with these new devices additional new features including 3D Touch and improved speed and performance of the device. 3D Touch provides the ability to ‘pop’ into an app without completely opening it. The techs at Apple have been working hard on improving the speed and performance of iPhones and it seems that they have done just that, with on average a 70% increase of speed in general use and 90% more powerful in each phones graphical prowess.

Microsoft

Microsoft released their 435 as an entry level Windows handset, this was a very successful device providing a user-friendly, inexpensive handset for business communication. The Microsoft 550 was then developed to incorporate all the user friendly features the 435 provided, whilst also running on the new Windows 10 operating system.

Microsoft also launched the 950 and 950 XL along with the release of the 550 towards the end of the year. The release of these three mobiles marks the first of the Windows mobile range to run the Windows 10 software, while patches for previous devices will be available in the near future. The 950 and 9590 XL are executive devices which allows you to transport your mobile phone directly onto a screen using the ‘Continuum’, which allows you to use your mobile device affectively as a computer. Total’s device sales were made up of 30% Microsoft throughout 2015 and this is expected to increase further in 2016 with the sales of the 950 and 950 XL.

BlackBerry

BlackBerry has started to focus more on the software aspect of mobility, this is something that they were not afraid to let customers know and enforced this decision when they made an acquisition of Good Technology. This has allowed BlackBerry to create a unified yet secure mobility platform with applications and services for any mobile, on any operating system. The inbuilt security used is certified by various governments around the world. However BlackBerry have still shown their diversity within mobile hardware sector upon release of the BlackBerry Priv at the end of 2015.

With that in mind, we have rounded up Total’s top selling mobile handsets of 2015.  And the winner is…

Total Chart

 

Apple – quickly followed by Microsoft/Nokia – came out on top as our customers go-to devices last year.

2016 is set to be an exciting year with big changes from a wide range of manufacturers. There has been speculation that with Apple’s annual release in September there will be a new look and feel to the iPhone, it has been rumoured that the headphone port and home button will be replaced with Bluetooth headphones and 3D touch instead of having the physical button.  LG have been looking into the first flexi-phone however this seems to be a long way off. Microsoft are also still developing the Surface phone which we believe will be released this year.

So, if you are holding out for the latest handsets, here are a few dates to pop in your (mobile) calendar:

February 2016: The Samsung S7 is scheduled to be announced at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona.

March 15th 2016: Apple also have rumoured that there will be a release of an iPhone 5SE and an iPad air 4. Date has not yet been confirmed however there is strong rumours surrounding this.

September: Apple’s September launch is a staple in every iPhone enthusiast’s diary.

Microsoft Surface Phone has rumoured to be released in 2016 however there has been no official date.

We look forward to reviewing the functionality of these devices over the year – and of course always welcome reviews directly from our customers. If you would like to submit a review, simply email me at emily.g@total-ltd.co.uk.

Jack Steele is a Purchasing Assistant at Total Ltd – the communications technology experts who deliver smart solutions to help your business grow and continually evolve. 

Christmas Opening Times

As we are fast approaching the festive break, please see below our office opening times:

  • Thursday 24th December 9am – 1pm
  • Christmas Day – closed
  • Monday 28th December – 9am – 5.30pm (customer service only)
  • Tuesday 29th December 9am – 5.30pm (customer service only)
  • Wednesday 30th December 9am – 5.30pm (customer service only)
  • Thursday 31st December 9am – 1pm (customer service only)
  • Friday 1st January – closed
  • Monday 4th January 9am – 5:30pm

If you need to report a lost or stolen handset outside of these hours, please call 0345 070 5460 and you will be directed to an out of hours contact.

With Season’s Greetings,

The Team at Total

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BlackBerry through the updates…

Blackberrys

With the new BlackBerry Priv set to be released before the end of the year, we wanted to have a look at how the renowned ‘for business’ device has evolved over the years. Diving into our own treasure trove of historical phones, weeding our way through the large and unbranded to the tiniest of Nokia’s, we managed to find a fascinating collection of Blackberry devices.

The BlackBerry 5810 was launched in 2002 and was the first BlackBerry to feature a built-in phone, as they had previously been used as data-only devices. The device however lacked a speaker and a microphone, therefore the only way to use it was via a headset to make and receive calls – although it was a step in the hands-free direction it was far from the Bluetooth technology we use today.

privSince then there has been, like all mobile, an annual release of an updated device. This year is set to be no different with the release of the BlackBerry Priv. After years of the BlackBerry trailing behind Apple and Android and some criticism over the quality of apps available for the BlackBerry, it has listened to consumers and now joined forces with Android to produce the Priv.

BlackBerry have stated that Priv stands for ‘privacy’ and ‘privilege’- as in to maintain privacy. This is based on the main features of the phone, combining BlackBerry security and Android OS.

“Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform” John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO.

We will have to await its arrival to see the success, however why not share your BlackBerry models with us? Did you own one of the original devices as shown above and, if so, what was your experience of using it?

2015 Comms National Awards Shortlist

At Total we are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the final of the Comms National Awards in the Best Mobile Distributor category.  The Comms National Awards have been running for the past 15 years – and this year received a 30% increase in entries from 2014. Total has been selected as a finalist for this category for the past three years. In 2012 and 2013 we were Highly Commended and last year we won the award, and so we are delighted to be shortlisted again this time around.

Total launched the Focus Partner Programme in 2010, to deliver a true wholesale mobile proposition, along with the tools and support to ‘make it simple’, and enabling our partners to drive significant additional revenue for their own businesses whilst aiding retention through a converged offering.   Working closely with our partners, we have since grown the programme to develop new strands within the Focus family, launching a Focus 360 proposition to increase its scope by offering additional tiers and support structures, whilst Focus Connect is tailored to the needs of IT resellers.

2016 is set to be an exciting year for Total and within the Focus channel we are ready to meet our mission and vision – to ‘realise the full potential of ICT’ and ‘enable growth for all’.

The awards ceremony will be held in the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on the 22nd October, where we look forward to an evening of entertainment, industry networking and celebration.

To find out more about the CN Awards and see a full list of this year’s finalists, why not take a look at the CNA website.

CNAwards Banner

Jack reviews the iPhone 6S

As many Apple fans will know, September is new release month and this time around it’s the iPhone 6S.

As expected, Apple have gone from the iPhone 6 to the 6S, as they did with the iPhone 5 to 5S in September 2013. The design of the device hasn’t changed significantly in regards to the looks, however a Rose Gold version has been added to the range. Apple have also responded to criticism with regards to the bending problem of the previous incarnation and now use a new less pliable 7000-series aluminium.

As a wise man once said “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”, the new iPhone 6S is a perfect example of this with the upgrades applied.IPhone 6S

The 6S boasts the next generation of multi-touch which has been named ‘3D Touch’.  It’s like a right-click mechanism for the IPhone 6S and has been compared to the ‘force touch’ on the Apple Watch and the new Mac Book. It enables the user to make calls to favourites or view directions from an address sent via iMessages amongst other features.

The 12MP camera on the new iPhone 6S is superb, with accurate skin tones and an incredible depth of field. Videos are shot in 4K, with an 8MP rear camera whilst the front facing camera is 5MP with a TrueTone flash that is simulated with the retina display, lighting up the screen 3 times brighter than normal.

The 6S features all-new ‘A9’ processor and an embedded ‘M9 motion coprocessor’ making Apple’s system-on-a-chip is snappier than ever. The CPU is 70% faster than the IPhone 6 and the GPU also benefits from a 90% performance boost.

Apple as ever are evolving and revolutionising the mobile industry and I can’t see any reason why not to upgrade to this device. The specs that come with this phone are very powerful indeed and I personally cannot wait to get my hands on one.

With September 2016 set to see the release of the iPhone 7, will you wait for the 7, or take the plunge with the 6S now?

Total dons the denim for Jeans for Genes.

JforG_Email-Signature

As we prepare for Jeans for Genes Day this coming Friday, we thought we’d look into the annual fundraiser a little more and drop a few clues as to what we’re up to on the day.

Jeans for Genes day was set up by the charity Genetic Disorders UK and this year it is celebrating 20 years of running this fundraising day. Their vision is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by genetic disorders. Jeans for Genes day is a simple concept and it works – don a pair of jeans or double-denim for the day, raise awareness of the charity and donate to the cause.

We are hoping to raise a substantial amount and with a little encouragement Toby, a member from our Business Intelligence team, has pledged to shave all his hair off if £500 is raised. We’ve even found a barber willing to do it to help us raise money on the day.

blog pictureSo, what are we up to and how can you help?

Total support Jeans for Genes annually and this year we have upped the ante and have come up with a range of activities and denim themed prizes to help us reach our ambitious £500 target.

We are hosting a raffle where a range of prizes have been donated by local and national businesses, including an LG G Pro Tablet which is also up for grabs.

The Total team is enthusiastically encouraged to wear as much denim as humanly possible, there will be a ‘Name the Denim Divas’ quiz in our breakout room, where the team will have the opportunity to guess as many names on the board as possible.  This raffle is open to anyone who would like to enter, including you. To be in with a chance of winning, simply donate £5 (per strip of 5) via JustGiving and email your confirmation and contact number to emily.g@total-ltd.co.uk. Winners will be announced by the end of Jeans for Genes Day.

So make sure you keep an eye out on our Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn pages, you might just get to see Toby’s head being shaved!

Also keep up-to-date with how we are doing on the fundraising for Jeans for Genes via our JustGiving page. And don’t forget to donate to be in with a chance of winning!

Total’s Avaya Gold Accreditation

Avaya has chosen to reward our commitment, experience and dedication to customer satisfaction by elevating us to the level of GOLD PARTNER.

Untitled

Total is delighted to be accredited as ‘Gold Partner’ and ‘Partner in Customer Excellence’ as one of only 7 (Gold) and 11 (PCE) out of over 300 Avaya Partners in the UK.

Avaya’s prestigious partner programme rewards partners for value and competency. It recognises that in order to sell Avaya solutions to their customers, partners need to demonstrate high levels of product-focused skills and service to customers.

We could not have achieved this accreditation without the positive feedback we receive from our customers, so we extend our gratitude to those who have assisted us in obtaining this status.

If you would like to know more about Avaya solutions or our Gold Partner status, call us on 0345 0705460 or email the team at solutions@total-ltd.co.uk.

 

As Simple as 0845

Let’s talk about ‘Non-Geographic Numbers’ and, in particular, those beginning with 084/0870/09/118/0800/0808.

Non-Geographic Numbers (NGNs) are telephone numbers not assigned to a geographic location. The owner may forward their NGN to any geographic, mobile, or international location. Call costs depend on the prefix of the number called, not on the final destination.

numbersOfcom recently introduced various changes in relation to Non Geographic Numbers. Whilst this was specifically aimed at consumers, not the B2B market, in the interests of transparency we have also decided to incorporate these changes.  The main issue Ofcom identified was that whilst advertising stipulated how much a number costs to be called from a BT landline, other networks and mobile ‘varied’. This ultimately made it difficult for the caller to identify how much that call would cost.

As a result, calls to the NGN’s with the prefix of 0843, 0844, 0845, 0870, 09 and 118 will now be split into an Access Charge and a Service Charge, both in pence per minute. Still with us? 

So who sets the charge? The Access Charge is set by your phone company. In your case that is Total Ltd and we have set these in line with other network operators:

  • O2 Mobile at 37p per minute*
  • Vodafone at 37.5p per minute*
  • Fixed Landlines at 2.876p per minute*

The Service Charge is set by the number range holder and has been agreed by Ofcom and the companies promoting these can choose a number based on the charge. If the company with the Non Geographic Number is dealing in a consumer market, then they must ensure that all advertising and promotional material clearly identifies how much the service charge is next to the number in question.

Whilst this new regulation was brought in to simplify the charges, there is no indication that the call charges will be cheaper.

In addition to this calls to 0800 and 0808 Freephone numbers will now be free to call from a mobile as well as a landline and will also not be taken out of any minute bundle allowances.

Please note that Access Charges and Service Charges will not be separately identified on your invoice.

In light of all of these changes Total has also decided to change our 0845 contact numbers to the following:

0345 070 5450 (Solutions)
0345 070 5460 (Customer Care)
0345 070 5461 (Fax)

Calls to these numbers should cost no more than calls to a standard 01 or 02 landline number, or will be taken out of any minute bundle allowances.

If you do have Non Geographic Services with Total and you wish to discuss other options, such as 03 numbers that are not included within this regulation, or if you have any queries regarding any of the information outlined, then please contact the Solutions team on 0345 070 5450 or email solutions@total-ltd.co.uk. We’re here to help!

*excludes VAT