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Tech tips to empower remote learning​

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and remote working:
Tech tips to work smarter and more safely from home

Easy-to-implement solutions to support business continuity 

As organisations across the UK move employees to working from home due the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, we’re having lots of conversations with business leaders and their IT staff about solutions that can improve the remote working experience.​

The good news is, there’s lots of easy-to-implement technology solutions out there. And the even better news is that many are free, have free trial options, or are low cost and don’t have to cost you a fortune. ​ Here’s some ideas:​

Male using teams on a microsoft surface tablet

Microsoft Teams​: Try it in your business free for 6 months1

Microsoft Teams is great for remote working – and if you have Office 365, you'll already have access to it. If not, a free 6 month trial license1 for Teams is now available.

Female working from home using a headset

Headsets​: Options are available for all budgets

Maximise the home working experience with a comfortable, noise cancelling headset. Consider a hygeine refresh as a low-cost way to redeploy existing headets to new users.

A group of work colleagues conferencing through cisco webex

Cisco Webex: Extra features now in the free version3

Cisco has long offered a free version3 of Webex - its powerful platform for online meetings and web conferences. It's now been boosted with a host of additional features.

Cisco umbrella security services

Cisco Umbrella: Boost remote user security with a free 90 day trial2

Cisco Umbrella acts as the first line of defence against threats from the internet. It protects users wherever they're working and can now be activated as free trial for 90 days2.

Mobile displaying Cisco duo

Cisco Duo & AnyConnect: Secure access to corporate networks & apps

Enable secure access to the enterprise network for any user, from any device, anywhere with a 90 day trial of Cisco AnyConnect5.  Plus add a free 30 day trial of Cisco Duo6 and you can quickly secure access to corporate applications with multi-factor authentication.

Several payment options

Leasing: Ask us about flexible funding solutions

Whether you have an existing lease, or need flexible ways to fund new investment, our Funding Solutions Team can help. Options like deferred payment and payment holidays may be available7 to help you manage your finances at this difficult time.

Microsoft Teams – It’s perfect for remote working and it's now available on a free trial1

Male using teams on a microsoft surface tablet

If your business is already using Office 365, you’ll already have Teams – it’s included as standard. Teams is a really simple way to establish remote working quickly. ​
​ 
If your organisation isn't currently using Office 365, then you can take up Microsoft's offer of a free "Office 365 E1 license" trial.  It'll give you free access to Office 365 and Teams for six months1.
​ 
Talk to our IT Specialists on 0370 429 3010 to find out more about implementing Teams in your business - and discover a powerful tool that boosts collaboration and productivity whilst empowering your staff.
​ 

Get going quickly​

Check out this blog post full of tips on getting up and running with Teams quickly. Teams is designed to be intuitive, so staff can easily find their way around the platform. It's the next best thing to being in the office.

Work from anywhere​

Teams within your business can quickly be created, enabling work to continue irrespective of location. ​

1:1 or group meetings

You can have discussions, share files, assign work, and have voice and video calls either 1:1, or in groups.​

Access on any device​

Teams works on desktop, tablet, phone and web browser - so staff can access from ANY device.​

Please fill out the below form to request your free trial

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Maximise the home working experience and minimise distractions with a noise cancelling headset​

Female working from home using a headset

Headsets for employees working from home

Whilst Teams makes working from home a reality, it can’t help avoid the background noise that comes with home life.

Pets, children, TV and radio all create distractions that could interrupt your work, but there is a simple solution - a headset. ​

​Look out for headsets with noise cancellation. They use advanced microphones to monitor and counter ambient noise, so you can hear and be heard better.

Browse range​ ​ ​

Jabra, Poly & more​

We work with world-class headset brands like Jabra and Poly. There’s options for all budgets, with some brands reducing prices specifically to help customers scale up for remote communications quickly 4.  

Consider a hygiene refresh to re-use old headsets​

If you already have headsets and want to re-deploy them, then ask us about a ‘hygiene refresh’ which replaces things like foam mics or soft ear covers.​

We’re UC Specialists​

Our UC Devices team are on hand to give you free, impartial advice on choosing the right headset or hygiene refresh for your needs.​

Need additional devices?

Many of the solutions we've mentioned on this page can be accessed from any device - which means remote working can be implemented quickly. But if you find you need to top up, then BT’s IT Specialists have lots of experience in supporting organisations with their device needs. If you need additional devices, or support with your plans, talk to us today. Don't forget to ask about trade in options which can be a really cost-efficient way to refresh.

Browse range

Subscription-free access to Cisco Webex

The surge in remote working amid the coronavirus pandemic has led to an explosion of users jumping on video conferencing and chat apps. In response to this, Cisco is temporarily adding more features into the subscription-free version of its Webex software3. The additional features are:

A group of work colleagues conferencing through cisco webex

Now with additional features for a limited time3

  • Unlimited usage - so no time restrictions
  • Support for up to 100 participant - up from 50
  • Offers toll dial-in (in additional to existing VoIP capabilities)

A free version of Cisco Webex also gives you HD video, screen sharing and a personal room. You can use it for as long as you like.

To learn more about what's included in the free version of Webex3, and to sign up now, click here. This page also explains 90 day trial options for larger businesses who may need more advanced features.

Free trial of Cisco Umbrella2 - A cloud security and web filtering platform that protects any device, anywhere

Cisco umbrella security services

Cisco Umbrella is your first line of defence against internet threats. It helps to protect users against malware, phishing, and command and control call-backs.

Hundreds of businesses already rely on Umbrella to deliver fast, secure access across multiple locations and reduce malware infections. The service is all cloud-delivered via a simple web interface, so there's minimal maintenance.

Because it's delivered via the cloud, Umbrella makes it easy to protect users everywhere in minutes. BT's IT Specialists will be happy to arrange a free 90 day free trial.2

Please fill out the below form to request your free trial

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Free trials from Cisco to help secure remote access to corporate networks and applications

Although many of your people are working away from the office, possibly for the first time, they'll still need to access to the systems and applications they need to do their jobs. With these two free trials from Cisco, you can quickly enable safe and secure remote access to the network and applications they need:

Male on mbile phone using Cisco Any Connect

Enable secure access to the enterprise network for any user, from any device, anywhere with a 90 day trial of Cisco AnyConnect5.

If you already have a Cisco ASAv head-end VPN termination unit, you can take up this 90 day trial offer5 without additional charge.  Cisco AnyConnect is a Secure Mobility Client that offers so much more than a VPN. AnyConnect enables secure access to the enterprise network for any user, from any device (company owned or personal), at any time and in any location. AnyConnect simplifies secure endpoint access and provides the security necessary to help keep your organisation safe and protected.

To help you manage remote access at this unprecedented time of uncertainty, Cisco is offering a 90 day trial5 of the AnyConnect solution. Ask your BT IT Specialist to arrange your trial today.

Mobile displaying Cisco duo

A free 30 day trial of Cisco Duo6 quickly secures access to corporate applications with multi-factor authentication.

As well as securing remote access to your corporate network, you may want to think about adding an extra level of securing by using Cisco Duo too.

Cisco Duo gives you an easy way to identify users before granting them access to use corporate applications. It works using multi-factor authentication and it's super-simple to deploy.

Your BT IT Specialist will be happy to arrange your free 30 day trial6 today.

Please fill out the below form to request your trial

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Flexible funding options for IT investment7

The Coronavirus has created a climate of financial uncertainty for many organisations across the UK.  At the same time, they’re having to make decisions about the best way to keep their business or service going until life returns to something like normality.

These decisions often revolve around investment so understandably, they’re doubly difficult at a time like now. That’s where our Funding Solutions Team can help. 

Whether you have an existing lease, or are looking for more flexible ways to fund new IT investment, then let us explore the options with you. These may include:

Deferred payment options for new leases: These essentially give some breathing space between taking delivery of the IT solutions you need, and your first payment.  The deferred payment period is usually 3 months.

Further options for deferring payment: Some of our manufacturer-specific funders are also offering additional supportive measures, such as:

Several payment options
  • Payment deferrals for 3 months on Cisco hardware, then paying just 1% per month of the agreement value up to the end of 2020.  The remainder of the contract value is then spread across the remaining agreed term.
  • 3 month payment deferrals on new mobile device leasing via Apple Financial Services.
Payment holidays: If you’ve already got a lease in play, then a payment holiday could be an option. A ‘break’ in your usual payments of up to 3 months could allow you to temporarily divert much needed capital elsewhere.  

Like all financial products, it’s important you understand all the implications and costs before making a decision to either start or amend an existing lease.  

We know the coming weeks will be a challenging time for our customers.
Our team of IT Specialists are here to help and support you – just reach out.

Things you need to know

  1. Microsoft is offering a free 6-month trial of the Office 365 E1 license. To learn how you can manage the Office 365 E1 trial, along with information on eligibility criteria which applies, visit Microsoft's information page here. This offer may be withdrawn at any time.
  2. Your BT IT Specialist can arrange your free 90 day Cisco Umbrella trial. Offer ends 1st July 2020. By creating a trial, you agree to the Umbrella Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and you understand that your personal information may be transferred for processing outside your country of residence, where standards of data protection may be different. By Umbrella Terms of Service and Privacy.
  3. To access to the free version of Cisco Webex you need to sign up here. By signing up you understand and agree to the Cisco Terms of Service. The additional features will be available until 1st July 2020, but may be withdrawn at any time thereafter.
  4. Subject to availability.
  5. To use Cisco AnyConnect, Cisco ASAv head-end VPN termination is required. A significant discount programme is available for ASAv30 units. Ask your BT IT Specialist who can also arrange your 90 day Cisco AnyConnect trial. Offer ends 1st July 2020. At the end of the 90 day trial, AnyConnect licences can be purchased, or should be uninstalled.
  6. The 30 day trial of Cisco Duo offers an unlimited number of users. After the trial period, to continue to use the solution, customers will need to purchase a minimum of 10% of their current user population for a period of 1 year. Offer ends 1st July 2020.
  7. All new leases, or changes to existing leases are subject to a successful application process. As with all financial products, it's important you understand all the implications and costs before making any decisions.


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