Posts Tagged: Industry news


26
Mar 14

Irish Users Losing Out in European Broadband Lottery

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Data released by the European Commission today shows that Europe’s 400 million Internet users face a geographic lottery regarding the price, speed, and range of choice of broadband –showing that a single market for broadband services in Europe is still a distant ideal. This has to change, according to European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes, who has said that there “is no good reason why one person should pay over 4 times more than another in Europe for the same broadband.”

The study found that Irish users are paying up to 3 times more for their broadband services than consumers in other European countries, with prices here the third highest in Europe. Cyprus was the most expensive for broadband with Spain taking the 2nd place.

Given these figures, it is unsurprising that Irish people are among the most likely to limit internet use and international calls on their phones because of cost fears; Irish people were found to be the most reluctant in Europe to phone someone in another country because of the cost! However, the study did find that almost half of Irish consumers have now embraced the idea of using an IP telecoms provider such as Blueface to make cheaper calls.

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Despite higher than average prices for Irish broadband, the study found that two-thirds of people do not know what speed internet they signed up for and if they do know, they are likely to get just 75% of the speed advertised to them with their broadband package anyway. According to Kroes, “while underlying networks are improving, the gap between advertised and actual speeds is as wide as in 2012.”

In addition, 40% of consumers in Ireland reported difficulties accessing online content due to slow speeds or downloading capacity, while 18pc had been hit with extra charges for downloading too much data, even though most people weren’t aware this could happen.

While successive waves of telecoms sector reform by the European Union have helped transform the way telecoms services are delivered in the EU, the sector still operates largely on the basis of 28 national markets. Both customers and operators face differing prices and rules.

The findings above show a clear need to give broadband users stronger rights and the European Parliament next week will vote on the Commission’s plans for a #ConnectedContinent which proposes measures to ensure consumers have accurate information, clear contracts, reliable speeds and greater rights to switch provider, or end a contract if they don’t get the speed promised. The #ConnectedContinent will also help to overcome market fragmentation and price differences by allowing efficient operators to sell their services to consumers in other countries.

Improvements such as these will enhance competition and increase choice for users; which will hopefully ensure better value and higher quality services across all EU member states. In Blueface, we believe that access to high quality broadband infrastructure and services at affordable prices is vital for businesses and consumers alike. We need to rapidly address our approach in Ireland in order to ensure our businesses can effectively and efficiently compete on a pan-European basis. This report illuminates the challenges facing Irish customers of broadband services and we welcome the debate on the issue in order to challenge operators to rebalance their approach to pricing and quality in the months and years ahead.


14
Feb 13

Blueface joins Panasonic European Cloud Solutions Network

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We are very pleased to have been officially announced as part of Panasonic’s European Cloud Solutions network this week! We are committed to delivering a first-class user experience and outstanding value to our customers and partnering with renowned electronics manufacturer Panasonic allows us to offer customers market-leading hardware on which to use the Blueface service. This week’s announcement reflects a relationship that has seen Blueface become the largest vendor of Panasonic IP handsets in Ireland over the last two years.

Panasonic has a long and distinguished history of delivering cutting edge, user-friendly products to markets across the world for almost 100 years. The company has been at the forefront of a wide array of technical innovations and they are the preferred Blueface hardware supplier thanks to their fantastic range of intuitive, business-class IP enabled phones which, we believe, help users get the most from the Blueface service.

Using the Panasonic redirect server, Blueface can order hardware to be shipped directly from Panasonic to the customer. This hardware remotely configures itself as soon as it is switched on and connected to the data network.  This streamlined process for equipment configuration has benefited both large and small customers of Blueface with increased accuracy and quicker deployment times.

Blueface’s growth and success is built upon the trust of our customers; we take accountability and reliability very seriously and in Panasonic, we believe we have found a hardware supplier that shares our dedication to quality and cost-effectiveness. Check out the Panasonic range of hardware here, or give us a call on 01-524 2000 to find out more.


10
Dec 12

Take Part in our Survey to WIN an iPad Mini!


Blueface has launched the largest ever user-led research project on Business Communications in Ireland and we want to hear what YOU have to say! Take the Blueface Business Telecoms Survey and have your voice heard in a report on Business Communications in Ireland.

Data collected in this survey will inform the Blueface Business Telecoms Report, published on the 1st of February 2013, which will examine emerging innovations, potential areas of savings, and strategies for increasing productivity that can be identified as the business communications sector evolves. This report will provide businesses with an ‘industry insider’ viewpoint on business communications and a unique resource to assess their own infrastructure and processes.

To show our appreciation of your assistance in this very worthwhile research, we will present one lucky survey participant with an iPad Mini – the latest in mobile business-boosting communications technology.


22
Nov 12

Blueface Announces Expansion Into Italian Market

It was a very exciting day in Blueface HQ yesterday as we announced that we will be expanding our operations to the Italian market through the strategic acquisition of leading Italian cloud telephony provider, Kebu. After months of planning, we can now tell you that from Q1 2013, Blueface Italy will be providing the same suite of high-performance, low-cost cloud telephony services to Italian SMEs and Corporates, that we have been supplying to our customers in Ireland since 2004.

We are all so delighted to have the opportunity to bring our services to a new market where competition is strong and SMEs are as keen as ever to avail of cost advantages coupled with better communications solutions. We are particularly looking forward to working with the the fast-growing Italian high-tech start-up industry where demand for Blueface’s highly innovative and cost effective services is already particularly strong.

Our initial presence in Italy will be from our offices in Rome; with offices in Milan and Florence to come on-stream during 2013. This move into Italy marks the first step of Blueface’s European expansion plan and we have a lot more planned so stay tuned to our blog to hear it first!

If you would like more information about Blueface Italy, please contact info@blueface.ie or call us in Dublin on 01-524 2000.

 


2
Nov 12

Blueface to Face : ‘Networking and Diasporas – Promoting Economic Recovery’

Blueface-to-face business networking events.

 

Blueface would like to invite you, our customers, to join us for a special event with Kingsley Aikins discussing the importance of Networking and Diasporas, as two key elements of Ireland’s economic recovery and how Irish business can utilise these factors for growth and business success. Kingsley, a world renowned networker, fundraiser and philanthropist, will explore themes such as the role of networking, social capital, the power of diasporas and how to thrive and survive using Networks and Diasporas.

We are absolutely delighted to offer you the opportunity to meet Kingsley and to network with other businesses too.  With such a prestigious speaker, we’d ask you to book your place as soon as possible as places are limited and we don’t want you to miss out. There will be light refreshments served on the evening.

All our business customers should have received an email invitation from us by now, if you haven’t received an invite please email fiona.Kearns@blueface.ie  with your details. PLACES ARE LIMITED, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

 

Mr. Kingsley Aikins. Guest Speaker.

Guest Speaker: Kingsley Aikins

Bio:

Kingsley Aikins was born and educated in Dublin attending The High School and Trinity College where he graduated with an honours degree in Economics and Politics. He also has a post graduate diploma in export marketing. He is a member of the Institutes of Exports, Marketing and Linguists (French and Spanish). For 5 years he was the Sydney, Australia based representative of the Irish Trade Board and IDA Ireland. While there he founded the Lansdowne Club – now one of the largest Irish business networks in the world with over 3000 members. In Australia he also  established the Australian Ireland Fund and the Ireland Fund of New Zealand. In 1992 he moved to Boston to take over as Executive Director of The American Ireland Fund. During his time with the Funds over a quarter of a billion dollars was raised and distributed to more than 1200 non profit organisations in Ireland. In 1995 he was appointed President and CEO of the Worldwide Ireland Funds which had activities in 39 cities in 13 countries attended by over 40,000 people. He produced a Philanthropy and Fundraising Toolkit in 2009.

In January 2010 he left The Ireland Funds and established Diaspora Matters a consultancy company based in Dublin which advises governments, regions, cities, companies and organisations how to develop strategies to connect with their diasporas. He writes and speaks extensively internationally on Philanthropy and Diaspora issues. In 2010 he wrote a report entitled ‘A comparative review of International Diaspora Strategies’. In July 2012 he gave the keynote address  at the Hillary Clinton Global Diaspora Forum in Washington and launched a comprehehensive Global Diaspora Strategies  Toolkit and Website (www.diasporastrategies.com) which look at best practice around the world and make recommendations for countries who want to develop strategies in this area.


15
Oct 12

Blueface to Attend Dublin Web Summit

Blueface will exhibit at the Dublin Web Summit this week on October 17th and 18th and we’re looking forward to an action-packed week! Over 200 international speakers and 3,500 attendees from over 50 countries will descend on the RDS for an event which brings together technology giants and start-ups from around the world, as well as investors and tech enthusiasts who want to see and meet the latest wave of movers and shakers from the technology sector and beyond.

The two day event will include exhibitions, lectures and networking events. There’ll also be demonstrations from some of the hottest international brands and startups, making the Web Summit truly a cornerstone of cutting-edge business in Ireland.

This year will be Blueface’s first time to exhibit at the web summit and we’re looking forward to meeting other innovative business game-changers and perhaps finding ways to work together.  We’re especially excited to meet young and pioneering start-ups and to hear more about what’s happening at all levels of Irish business. With our background as a start-up, we’re always keen to see the new and disruptive ideas coming from start-ups and we’re firm believers that entrepreneurship is the motor that drives Irish business. Supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs is something we feel passionately about – so much so in fact that in 2012 we launched our inaugural Blueface Elevator competition which took a diverse range of start-ups from across the country, helped them to develop and refine their proposition and market strategy, and awarded one competition winner €50,000 of Business Services to help them hit the big time. Check out www.blueface.ie for more info about Blueface Elevator 2013 or chat to one of our representatives at the Web Summit.

Blueface will be at Stand 28 in the RDS main hall – if you’d like a little more information about what we do and how we can help businesses improve their communications, drop by for a chat and check out the awesome and exclusive offers that we will be running for Web Summit attendees.


17
Jul 12

ThoughtBox wins Blueface Business Elevator Final

 

And the winner is…. Thoughtbox

Wow, what a weekend! And what an exciting day our Blueface Elevator Final brought! Many many congratulations to Cristina Luminea of ThoughtBox, who took the prize on the day; her initiative of educational software for children that helps them to discover the answers themselves looks set to become a huge success and we’re delighted to be able to assist her in growing and advancing her business. While Cristina took the top prize, all nine finalists really impressed us with their enthusiasm and commitment; it is always inspiring and motivating to meet dedicated entrepreneurs

who believe and invest so passionately in their business. many travelled from early on Saturday morning to make it to the Westbury Hotel for set up and there was a great atmosphere in the ‘Business Zone’ as everyone got their displays ready. We called over to Carphone Warehouse, Grafton St. to take photos in store and this was when the adrenalin really started pumping for the Blueface team – nine great teams of finalists was gonna make for one interesting competition!!

Presentations from finalists kicked off in the early afternoon, in the Grafton Suite of the  Westbury Hotel. First up was James McNamara presenting for CleverMiles, our regional winners in the Drogheda heat. The second presentation was from Niall Fennell of Ireland’s Raw Kitchen, regional winners in Galway. Third was Randall Wharton of RigBag, who won the Cork heat, while fourth we had Trevor Keane of Fantasy5Live, winners of the Kilkenny Heat. Our fifth presentation was from Barry Spearman of New Age Memorials, who won in Limerick. We took a short break halfway through the presentations and by this time, we had so many audience members, some extra rows of chairs had to be quickly installed in the theatre!

After the break, we got straight back into the presentations with the first of our joint winners from the Dundrum heat, Mark Moore of Oral Eye. Next was the other joint winner from Dundrum, MotionFox, presented by Rob Quigley. Second last was the first of our joint winners from the Carrick-on-Shannon heat, Cristina Luminea of ThoughtBox and the final presentation of the day was from our other winner in Carrick-on-Shannon, Malcolm Donnellan of Simply Phone to Photo.

After all of these amazing presentations, we didn’t know how just one winner could be selected! Luckily we had a very experienced and professional judging panel to do the hard work for us and they retired to discuss each idea in turn. Guest judges, Economist Constantin Gurdgiev and Brian Fallon, CEO of TheJournal.ie and Founder of Daft.ie; joined Alan Foy, CEO, Blueface; Peter Scott, General Manager, Carphone Warehouse Ireland; Nigel Heneghan, Managing Director, Heneghan PR; David Gorman, Managing Partner, Gorman Quigley Penrose; and David O’Donnell, Partner, Mason Hayes + Curran, in choosing the winner.

In the end, ThoughtBox came out on top and took the prize of a huge package of business services including telephony services  from Blueface, mobile handsets, tablets and other hardware from Carphone Warehouse, advertising from Newstalk 106-108FM, public relations advice from Heneghan PR, accountancy advice  from Gorman Quigley Penrose and legal advice from Mason Hayes + Curran.

Alan Foy, CEO of Blueface commented afterwards: “Congratulations to ThoughtBox, who won based on the high standard of presentation given today, the creativity behind the idea and the commercial value of the business going forward. It was a tough decision, as the standard of applicants surpassed all of our expectations. Thank you to all who took part and helped make this happen, we are very pleased with the level of support we received in our initiative to highlight and promote the large number of innovative and exciting start-ups in Ireland and we look forward to working with and assisting all of the finalists in any way that we can.”

More information about all of the finalists will be available on this blog over the coming weeks and we hope to have an interview with Cristina of ThoughtBox ready for publication soon. Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the competition or who helped to make it the massive success that it was! Right now we’re thinking about how we can make Blueface Business Elevator bigger and better in the future, so watch this space :-)

 

Some of the Key sponsors pose with Christina outside The Westbury Hotel.


29
Nov 11

Blueface and Panasonic strengthen relationship further.

Blueface, Ireland’s leading internet telephony provider has teamed-up with Panasonic Solution Company Europe (PSCEU) to provide an exclusive new offer on the Panasonic KX-TGP500 cordless SIP phone system that brings together the advantages of modern internet HD VoIP voice calls, business phone functionality and easy web based administration.  The exciting new offer means that when customers purchase one KX-TPA50 handset, they will get a second handset free of charge. The KX-TGP500 SIP phone system is an ideal telephone solution for SME’s and sole traders operating in a small office home office (SOHO). The system can be used for business calls with the second handset serving as the dedicated household phone.

 

For just €99 (ex VAT) buyers receive a Panasonic KX-TPA50 handset along with the KX-TGP500 base unit with one included KX-TPA50 handset. For situations where more than two handsets are required, customers may purchase additional systems with the two for one offer also applicable for multiple purchases.

 

“This is a win-win deal for Blueface customers who can avail of the low-cost and flexible telephone solutions we provide along with the two smart Panasonic user- friendly handsets,” said Alan Foy, CEO, Blueface.

 

We are pleased to team up with Blueface to bring this unique offer to SMEs and the home office market,” added Bob Mercer, Area Sales Manager at Panasonic. “This initiative is an indicator of Panasonic’s development in the provision of telecommunications solutions and Blueface, who are a forward-looking innovative telecommunications company provide an ideal partner for us.”

 

The KX-TGP500 SIP phone system offer which is exclusive to Blueface customers comes with support for three simultaneous network conversations, support for up to eight SIP registrations and a hands-free speaker phone on cordless handset.


8
Nov 11

Blueface ranks in Top 20 Fastest growing businesses 2011 – Deloitte Fast 50 awards.

Blueface Nov 16th Special PAYG Offer

Blueface today announced that it ranked number 16 in the 2011 Deloitte Technology Fast 50, a ranking of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Ireland. Rankings are based on average percentage revenue growth over five years. Blueface acquired a substantial number of business customers during this period, which has helped create significant growth for the company.

The Fast 50 programme, now in its twelfth year in Ireland, ranks the fastest-growing technology companies in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This year, there are 14 companies from Northern Ireland in the ranking. The average growth rate of the Fast 50 companies named in this year’s ranking is 674%

To Celebrate our 16th Place position we want to give all our business and residential customers a 16% bonus on all PAYG credit purchased on November 16th. Simply log into your account, select the amount of credit you wish to purchase and you’ll immediately receive  16% Bonus on whatever value you top up by. On Behalf of all the Blueface Team we would like to thank all our customers, both new and existing, for their continued support. Let’s hope for even more success next year!

 

 


2
Sep 11

Blueface is pleased to announce the appointment of Nameer Kazzaz as new CTO.

Blueface, Ireland’s leading IP telephony provider has appointed Nameer Kazzaz as Chief Technology Officer. Together with the Blueface engineering team, Nameer will be responsible for delivering the Blueface technology roadmap and unified communications offering.

Nameer Kazzaz is one of Europe’s leading VoIP experts, with over 12 years experience in both the private and public sectors, with a special interest in open source technology and its application to both traditional and the emerging Cloud Telephony.

Before joining Blueface, Nameer  previously held senior roles in  PlanNet21 and Smart Telecom and has consulted on many VoIP and network security projects in the public and private sector.

During his career in the telecoms sector, Nameer was responsible for the introduction of one of the first mobile VoIP networks, and deployed some of the largest soft-switch environments in the world. He is also a regular contributor to global conferences on the subject of IP telephony, Security, Enum, Next Generation Networks, IMS and Voice services.

Educated in Iraq and England, Nameer holds multiple qualifications in computer science, electronics and engineering.


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