Best camera types for you

Night vision camera CCTV
Which camera is best for you text with CCTV image

A guide to CCTV camera types and where they work best

Looking to implement CCTV but feeling overwhelmed by all the camera choices?

CCTV is a valuable investment for your business.  When installed properly, camera surveillance can keep your staff and site secure, by providing you with real time and recorded footage of your premises onsite and remotely.   Well placed and visible camera units can also act as a deterrent for anti-social behaviour.

If you’ve been looking into implementing a CCTV system, you may be unsure about which cameras you need, and where to place them to get the most out of your surveillance setup?  This guide will give you an overview of the main types of camera and how to get the best out of them

CCTV dome camera

Dome Cameras

With a high quality camera built inside a glass dome, choose these when you need a vandal-proof, inconspicuous solution.

CCTV bullet camera

Bullet Cameras

These sturdy weatherproof units are perfect for long distance surveillance with zoom capabilities. Bullet cameras are highly visible, which makes them the perfect deterrent.


CCTV Turret camera

Turret Cameras

Mounted vertically or horizontally, the ball and socket design means easy angle adjustment, while the dome free design makes for clearer images and improved night vision.

CCTV Pan Tilt Zoom PTZ camera

Pan Tilt Zoom Camera (PTZ)

With a mechanism that allows them to swivel, tilt and zoom, these units are ideal for areas where you want to cover a wider area, without compromising on detail

Night vision camera CCTV

Three-in-one cameras (TiOCs)

Perfect as an active deterrent, these cameras incorporate accurate alarms, full colour monitoring and two-way audio. Choose this option if you want immediate response to threats, with real time push notifications to your mobile app.

This is just a few of the many options now available for your surveillance setup.  If you’re still unsure about which cameras you will need for your site, why not let our technical team help you?

At Connaught we train our engineers to the highest possible standard, so you know you’re getting the best advice.  We don’t use subcontractors, so you know we’re taking care of everything, and we’ve been protecting our customers for over 35 years, so you know you’re in safe hands.

Call us on 0800 652 7681, email enquiries@connaughtltd.co.uk or click here to book a call with one of our sales consultants.

5 best reporting features of Xelion

5 best reporting features of Xelion

While management reporting has always been vital to monitoring investment and output, with staff working across numerous locations and flexible working becoming a new industry standard, it’s more important than ever to have access to how this affects business operations.

Building reports can be a time-consuming task for managers reporting back to Board Members.  Therefore choosing the right format is key to presenting information which is easy to interpret.

Having a smart telephony system like Xelion is invaluable when it comes to offering your management team the variety of reporting they need for success.

Here are five different ways you can use Xelion to report on your telephony and when to use them

Best for real time information

Wallboards

Wallboards offer real time visibility of statistics for an individual, department or team. You can use these to examine how many calls have been answered, average waiting time and performance against SLAs. These can be displayed on large screens at no extra cost.

Best for ease of use

Web reporting

Accessible from any web browser on any device, managers can access pre-built graphical reports to support statistics in Management Reporting stakeholder meetings.  These reports are easy to read, have a variety of formats, and are pre-built to show visibility of group or user activity.

These types of reports are perfect for meetings at short notice or to supplement some of the below, more in-depth analytics.

Best for indepth analysis

Automated reports

These types of reports offer complex statistics which give managers a more in-depth understanding of call groups, as well as individual performance.  Once set up is completed, these will be generated on a regular basis and emailed to key users, which saves time and ensures the right people have updated information.  Managers can also access these reports via the desktop application.

Best for metric tools

Query Tool

Ideal for managers who need to access to the entire database, the Xelion Query Tool allows full, unrestricted interrogation, with exported data which is ready to be used in metric tools such as Excel, Power BI, Tableau and others.  These queries can be carried out on a schedule or ad hoc and are made available to regular Xelion users with restrictions suitable for their own specific permissions.

Best for qualitative analysis

Call recording

If you’re looking for a more qualitative output, Xelion’s call recording feature allows managers to listen back to calls quickly and easily.

Ideal for staff training, it also enables you to measure against SLAs and check company protocol. This feature also protects your staff and business and can serve as a safeguarding function.

Sound interesting?

Xelion offers every type of reporting as standard in the monthly licence fee, with no additional costs or bolt-ons. It will enable you to pick the report to best suit your teams and stakeholders. If you’d like to learn how Xelion can help you, click here to book your FREE telephony consultation now.

Hybrid working – interview with Katie Richards

Is hybrid working here to stay? The long lasting effects of Covid

As businesses battle to get back to a pre-pandemic normal, it seems that long-Covid symptoms aren’t the only lasting physical effects.

Before Covid, unless you worked in sales, you’d probably had very limited experience of homeworking. The odd day working from home when you were waiting for a heating engineer. Or a few hours after an offsite meeting that was closer to home than the office. Or maybe a rare day working from the sofa with a sick child in tow.

Some of us longed for the flexibility of homeworking (especially if we owned a laptop and company mobile) and some of us hated the idea of working from home without the office buzz and bustle. But whichever side you were on, when Covid hit, there was no choice.

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And although opinion still varies on the pros and cons of remote vs office life, there’s no denying the time saved on commutes and meeting travel. Not to mention the benefits of teams still being able to work without coughing over colleagues (Covid or not).

The time savings and flexibility that we’ve all experienced with remote working have also been a catalyst for conversations around four-day working weeks and alternative working hours which means that hybrid working is probably here to stay.

But if Covid was the catalyst for hybrid working, technology is the enabler. So we chatted to Katie Richards, to find out how a simple thing like changing to a cloud-based phone system is enabling hybrid working and transforming businesses across the UK.

What is a cloud-based phone system and why can’t we just use our mobiles?

“A cloud-based phone system just means that you don’t need physical hardware. Calls are made over the internet so you can use any internet enabled device as a soft phone. It means anyone that’s logged in can make and take calls all from the same system. So it’s perfect for remote or home working.

Of course, you can use a mobile device as a softphone too. Accessing a phone system in the cloud just means you don’t have to make calls from your mobile number (particularly important for teachers and schools) or have calls ‘transferred’ to you. It’s as if you are all in the same office and anyone can jump on an incoming call.”

Which platforms do you recommend?

“We love the Xelion system.  It’s got so much functionality and so many features. So many of our customers have told us that having a new cloud-based phone system has transformed everything about the way they work. What’s even better is that every time Xelion release new features, customers automatically get upgraded. So it’s a brilliant way to future-proof your comms.”

So how does Xelion help with hybrid working?

“During the pandemic, the need for a phone system that could handle remote working was huge. So many organisations just weren’t set up to work in this way, especially schools and medical practices. You can access Xelion on any device that’s connected to the internet so it means you don’t have to be in an office to take calls. It also removes the need for additional mobile phones or office hardware. We were able to get organisations set up with Xelion really quickly and they were so grateful because it was bringing teams back together and helping businesses to continue trading.”

What can we expect from Xelion?

“We’re rolling out the latest version of Xelion (Xelion 8) to our customers at the moment. The app is super easy to use; it’s a really intuitive tool so we’re finding that people get the hang of it really quickly. Which takes the pressure off. You can use it for video calls too, even if people outside your organisation don’t have Xelion.

“The new version is also fully integrated with Microsoft 365 and Teams so you can sync contacts and make calls through Teams. It’s all the little time-saving features like this that can help businesses run more efficiently.

It’s great for team working too; anyone who’s on the system can see live availability based on your calendar, which makes resourcing much easier and call handling much slicker. Being able to view call data and manage call volume is helping companies work out what resource they need and when. Which comes back to that all-important flexibility which is so important for employee engagement and positive mental health.”

Sounds expensive...

“It does sound too good to be true but most of our customers actually save money. All the calls are free and you just pay a fixed fee so we make it really easy to manage costs. For example, doctor’s surgeries can reduce the cost of remote triaging because calls to patients are free.”

Whilst we’re all hoping that we’ve seen the last of lockdowns, hybrid working is probably here to stay. And whether you’re an office owl or a home bird, flexibility is probably the one thing we can all agree on.

Sound interesting?

If you'd like to see how much money and time you can save home working with Xelion, call us on 0800 652 7861 or email enquiries@connaughtltd.co.uk for your FREE no-obligation quote

What’s new with Xelion 8

What’s new with Xelion 8

Xelion is one of the market leaders in hosted telephony and Connaught are proud to be their fastest growing partner.  With an intuitive interface and flexible features, this cloud-based software can transform your business and futureproof your communications.

One of the best things about Xelion is that all features are included as standard. When new functionality is added, you get upgraded free of charge.

Xelion have recently rolled out version 8 of their telephony software, with a host of added extras to improve on their already extensive service.  Here’s what’s new and coming to a phone near you:

Softphone improvements

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Mobile app advancements

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Video & desktop sharing

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Microsoft 365 integration

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Microsoft Teams integration

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Here at Connaught, we have now rolled out Xelion 8 to all of our existing customers, so they can enjoy the added, cost-free benefits of this VOIP system.  This rollout happened overnight to minimise any disruption, meaning our customers could wake up to the improvements without lifting a finger.

If you’d like to join them, call us and say yes to cloud communication.

We have been connecting customers as VOIP telephony providers since 1985 and we’re here to talk to you.

Security Solutions at Balaam Wood Academy

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Security Solutions at Balaam Wood Academy

Meet King Edward’s Balaam Wood Academy. A co-educational secondary school in Birmingham, with over 1000 students and 60 staff.

Their old CCTV system was out of contract support and the failing cameras and poor image resolution was causing regular security concerns. With out-of-date software, video coverage was limited and staff were unable to access footage remotely.

To keep everyone safe, the Academy needed a complete security overhaul. So they launched a tender to ensure the best possible quality and price.

The inside insight

Following a competitive tender process as well as stringent assessments and screenings, the quality-focused Academy appointed us as their new security partner.

We recommended 85 high spec cameras for this large and complex site, complete with a video recording platform that could also be accessed remotely.

With minimal disruption for the school and its learners, we installed cameras, cabling, and network devices so that CCTV images could be viewed on any IOS or Android device; a game-changing outcome for the school’s Site Manager and management team.

The visible difference

The new CCTV system has transformed the Academy’s security, providing full coverage of the school site and modernising an old and unfit-for-purpose system. 

High spec cameras and the latest CCTV software means that security footage is clear and consistent. And continuous recording and 30-day-storage gives everyone peace of mind.

For the busy Site Manager, being able to access the recording system remotely saves time so he can focus on everything else. A top result for staff, students and the Site Manager alike.

Check out our Education page to see how we help schools or our CCTV page to see the scalable solutions we offer.

If you’re ready to get in touch, call for your FREE security consultation on 0800 652 7681

Are you getting the best from your security?

Are you getting the best from your security?

With Spring around the corner, now is a better time than ever to take a look at your premises and make sure everything is working as it should. 

One of the best ways you can take care of your people and property is by getting the most from your security solutions.  So if you think your CCTV could be doing more to protect your staff, service users and buildings, here are some quick and easy fixes you can implement right now.

Keep it clean

Before cleaning camera lenses, switch off the CCTV unit to prevent damage to moving parts. Gently wipe the lens clean with a microfibre cloth. For a deeper clean, soak the cleaning cloth with lens cleaner.

Make way for better insight

Trim nearby bushes, trees and shrubs. Even if they’re not obstructing the lens, a camera nestled amongst plants is less visible and less of a deterrent. Make sure cameras have enough space around them so they stand out to potential intruders.

Carry out a mini site audit

Check that cameras haven’t been moved or knocked. Adjust the positioning of each camera to maximise visibility. Review your video management software to make sure all areas are covered and you aren’t missing any spots. CCTV cameras can be added one at a time, meaning full coverage without a full overhaul.

If you’ve done all of these and still feel like you could be getting more out of your surveillance system, why not chat to us about how we can boost your onsite security.

Hybrid working and you – the impact on your business

Hybrid working and you – the impact on your business

There’s no doubt about it – hybrid working is here to stay.  Two years on from the start of the pandemic, and with government advice indicating that staff are no longer required to work from home, the fact remains that more and more businesses are implementing a hybrid model permanently.

Xperthr reported that in November 2021, 29% of organisations are implementing the hybrid model for all of their employees, with only 4% not adopting the strategy for any of their workforce.

These statistics imply that a flexible future of working is already a reality for a huge proportion of the working population

Effect on staff

Research from Gallup and BCG shows that hybrid working is a key factor for staff making decisions about their employment with up to 92% of employees now expecting to be able to work from home at least once a week where their sector allows.  A survey by Owl Labs asked participants what impact being allowed to work remotely would have on them, with the following results

On top of this, 80% of workers also recorded less work-related stress.

These wellbeing factors cannot be ignored, especially in the midst of “The Great Resignation”, a post-pandemic trend seeing vast job change as workers seek to find roles at companies that offer a better work-life balance and more flexibility.

Effect on business

The key for employers is to ensure that the implementation of remote working maximises staff satisfaction whilst not causing reduced productivity or financial loss.

Despite initial objections to this model, the research does seem to support that hybrid working can be just as beneficial for organisations as individuals.

According to 2021 research, nearly two-thirds of European business leaders reported that hybrid working makes companies more profitable, with 25% lower employee turnover.  Managers saw their hybrid working teams as 65% more productive compared with previous office-based working.

Differences can also be seen in the financial arena, with 40% of managers observing cost savings and 25% of employees willing to take a pay cut to allow for flexible working in their roles.

It is understandable that changing the working model of your business can seem daunting, but with clear benefits to staff and management alike, the hybrid working model could provide a flexible and profitable future for all.

It’s never been easier to offer flexible working to your staff, with cloud-based communications systems, such as Xelion, more accessible than ever. Traditional office setups, with a stationed receptionist at a front desk, can be replaced with a remote working team using instant message functions and softphones on company laptops and mobiles.

Intelligent Door Entry systems like Paxton and camera technology can allow remote staff to grant access to visitors without being tied to an office.

If you are looking to access the benefits that hybrid working can bring to your workforce, Connaught can help.  We can keep you completely connected and properly protected, wherever you are.

Three ways to make business communications easier

Three ways to make business communications easier

Communication is undeniably one of the most important foundations of any business.

Get it wrong, you will lose customers, misplace data and be inefficient. Get it right and you will be lean, profitable and efficient in serving your marketplace.

Any investment into business communications, be that time or money, is an investment well spent and now more than ever there is a clear path you should be following to improve how you communicate at work.

That path is digitisation. In other words, switching manual means of communication for digital alternatives which are connected and convenient. You can find out more about digitisation here or read on to discover how digital communication could make your working day more efficient and your business leaner.

Here are three investments that could make business communication easier for your organisation:

Hosted Communications

When you connect your workers mobile devices to their desktop devices through one easy to use platform, you enable them to make cost-effective voice calls and communicate with colleagues and customers via conference call wherever they are. Platforms like this can be connected to other software packages too like Salesforce or ACT! Which means your team has access to all the data they need on the road, at home or in the office.

The best bit? With all of this hosted in the cloud there’s no need to purchase or maintain physical hardware, so you’ll have more space in the office and lower ongoing maintenance costs too.

VOIP

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is one of the main replacement services for traditional telephone lines, which are due to become obsolete in 2025. Using the internet to make calls is cheaper and delivers a better-quality connection every time.

Ideal for growing businesses, VOIP is highly scalable, meaning you can add and remove lines in a matter of seconds. Switching to VOIP is far easier than many people expect, it is most likely compatible with your existing phone system and will give you access to a range of features like answer machine messages which are automatically transcribed and sent to you as a text or email.

Business Broadband

Business grade broadband brings reliability and speed to any business working towards digitisation. Connecting your workforce, data storage and telephony improves team performance, and when your team is working efficiently, customer satisfaction will soar.

There are different options to choose from including fibre optic broadband, Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) and fibre optic ethernet, depending on your business requirements. Whichever one proves right for you, switching will allow you to move core business applications over to a fully hosted platform for the ultimate in lean communication and business efficiency.

You can discuss all of these options and more, with our dedicated team of specialists. You could even book a free of charge, no obligation audit which will give you a full and comprehensive list of recommendations for digitisation. Call 0800 652 7681 or email enquiries@connaughtltd.co.uk