Oct 15

Growing Your Business In Europe at Dublin Chamber of Commerce

Growing your business in Europe

The morning of Wednesday 30th of September saw the Growing Your Business In Europe event take place in the comfortable surrounds of Dublin Chamber of Commerce. A number of speakers, which included Blueface CEO Alan Foy, gave their insights into scaling businesses in European markets to start the morning. In addition, a party of 10 businesses from England were in attendance in order to network, build relationships, and gain insight into the Irish market.

Alan’s talk centered on a SCALING framework, 7 points to cover that will help grow your business across any international market, not just those within Europe.

S – Strategy must be formulated and aligned.
C – Control systems & monitoring mechanisms must be in place.
A – Allies and partners are international too.
L – Leverage business model from HQ.
I – Invest in people.
N – Networking is vital in new markets.
G – Geographical selection & research matters.

The networking aspect of Alan’s talk could be seen in full swing once the audience had heard from each speaker. Representatives from each of the Irish and UK based businesses in attendance mixed to share their knowledge, discuss potential opportunities and most importantly of all, begin the process of building relationships.

If you’re business is thinking of expanding into European markets, check out upcoming Dublin Chamber of Commerce events as well as what support available to your organisation from Enterprise Ireland.

Finally, remember that Blueface offers international numbers for businesses with presences in multiple countries. Find out how we can help with your international needs for your business landline and mobile phones.

Oct 15

Blueface Takes Part In The Ireland Fund’s Global 5k

The Blueface team were out in force on Saturday 26th September to support The Ireland Fund’s Global 5K: The Irish Run The World! Supporters of The Ireland Funds from 15 cities in 6 countries were taking part in a series of 5K runs over 30 hours covering 65km. Kicking off down under in Brisbane, the event then handed the ‘virtual baton’ over to other participating cities, concluding when the last runner crossed the finish line in Los Angeles.

The Dublin edition was a sunshine fest, where a large crowd of all ages enjoyed the closest we’ve come to a summer’s day since well, last summer! Monkstown Rugby Club in Sandymount was the venue where we gathered at 11.30 on Saturday morning. After the registration and t-shirt changes we limbered up,  and it was clear that there were some who relished the prospect of competing for line honours and a wonderful prize sponsored by Blueface.

As usual, Blueface managed to source a few iPhones pre-release, and one shiny iPhone 6S was up for grabs for the fastest global finisher. A big incentive which certainly seemed to do the trick – there were some scintillating times set in the first lap or two, as a leading group of seemingly semi-professionals set the pace!

In the end, Brian Farrell recorded the fastest time of 18:09 while running in the New York leg of the Global 5k to win the #bluefacechallenge

Sep 15

IP Desktop Phones: Far from dying.


Over the past few years, there has been a common perception that IP desktop phones (phones that operate via the Internet) are on the verge of dying. Yes, it is true that landline telephony is on the decline, however, much slower than what most of us might think. This assumption stems from people believing that landline telephony usage is on a rapid decline owing to increased fixed mobile substitution, yet this is not the case.

Our recent Blueface ICT surveys showed that majority (67.4%) of businesses currently subscribe to or have access to, both a landline and mobile telephony service. Only 13.4% reported use of landline only, with a slightly higher 15.7% using Mobile only. It is quite evident from these figures that an all mobile business is limited in its ability to project a corporate image and therefore, landline as an element of Business Telephony will certainly remain important.

An article from Telegeography provided many interesting insights into the  main scenarios behind the growth of IP Desktop phones.

Increase in VoIP based phone lines:

Statements that refer to the “death of the PSTN” actually refer to the replacement of TDM (Time-division multiplexing/ circuit switched) technology in the telecommunication network by VoIP technology. The reason behind this is mostly due to cost efficient programs  rather than a new service development.

  • The study also suggests that the decline of phone lines is limited to 1.3% per year CAGR since 2008 – the year when the total number of wired phones lines peaked with 1.29 billion subscribers.
  • It is interesting to note that even though switched telephone lines have declined at a compound rate of 4% every year, VOIP consumers have increased by a whopping 18% annually, enabling to neutralize the decline in switched phone lines.

Decline in Residential Landline voice:

Over the last few years, residential landline voice traffic has decreased rapidly owing to an increase in mobile and VoIP to VoIP calling. However, this has not affected the number of phone lines which remains more or less stable.  According to Ofcom’s recent Communications Market Report, the number of fixed outgoing phone calls from residential phone lines has decreased with an 8.2% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the last five years.

The Future

With all the positive trending for IP desktop phones, there is no ignoring the fact that there is much more for the next generation to look forward to. Some of the major developments that would take over telephone communications are:

  • Software based Communications
  • IP Media Phones
  • Hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange)

In our recent ICT survey, a high number of respondents (70.9%) said to be using computer-based telephony software (i.e. Skype, Google Talk, X-lite) for business purposes. This is a reflection of the growing expectations and demands on businesses IP connection. While it has not yet been used as a major mode of telecommunication by businesses, it is definitely gaining ground in the fiercely competitive telecoms industry.

Another area of major growth in the IP phone space is the IP Media Phones. According to Frost & Sullivan, IP media phones are advanced IP desktop phones which have large displays with either integrated or plugged cameras to enable video communication, as well as support advanced telephony,Unified Communication (UC) features and integrated business applications. The IP media phone market shipped around 1.5 million devices in 2014 and this number is expected to quadruple in the next seven years. The main drivers behind moving to IP media phones are reduced costs and the need to switch to UC-enables devices.

IP Desktop Phones

IP Desktop Phones

With the cost of setting up a PBX system (telephone system within a company or institution that switches calls between users on local lines whilst allowing all users to share a certain number of external PSTN phone lines) being extremely expensive, many businesses are making the move towards a hosted PBX. The Hosted PBX handles voice signals using an IP connection and they carry out the same functions as a traditional PBX with many  benefits  such as reduced initial investment costs, increased flexibility, remote management and greater computer-technology integration. Our ICT survey revealed that 10% of respondents already used Hosted PBX, while 22% felt it would be useful for their business.

There is still a long time before we see the IP desktop phones being replaced on a large scale. Most of the major enterprise communication vendors experienced healthy growth in IP desktop phone shipments in 2014 and also invested in new ones including media phones, SIP phones, Microsoft-optimized/qualified devices and lower-end IP desktop phones.

To sum up, IP phones are not dead by any kind of measure and are here to stay with various offerings in terms of shapes, prices, integration and multimodal communications.


Sep 15

Join the Ireland Funds 2nd Annual Global 5K


Join Blueface and the Ireland Funds on Saturday, September 26, 2015 in Monkstown Rugby Club, Sandymount, Dublin 4 for the 2nd Annual Global 5K.

Following the global success of last year’s event, we’re delighted to be sponsoring this fun run again. The event will kick off at 11:30am with registration open from 11:00am. Blueface will give away a free iPhone 6s to the fastest time recorded globally on the day.

On September 26th, 2015, the event will span 15 different cities across 6 different countries over a 30 hour period. Kicking off down under in Brisbane, the event will hand the ‘virtual baton’ over to other participating cities concluding when the last runner crosses the finish line in Los Angeles.

Sep 15

Blueface Delighted To Sponsor SMEs At 2015 Web Awards

Web Awards 2015
Blueface is delighted to announce that we will be sponsoring the Medium SME category at The Realex Payments Web Awards 2015. The award ceremony will take place on October 15th in the beautiful surroundings of the RDS Concert Hall.

Over 600 websites have been nominated for an award across 30+ categories ranging from news and media to ecommerce and of course SMEs as well. The competition is sure to be stiff with superbly designed sites in the running for what would be a well-deserved prize. See for yourself, you can find the full list of nominees here.

The awards have been recognising outstanding website development and design for 8 years. In today’s business environment your website is perhaps the most common touchpoint that your business and brand has with customers and the The Realex Payment Web Awards 2015 represent what businesses of any scale should aspire to regarding their own online presence.

Follow the excitement of award night on Twitter using #webawards15.

Best of luck to all nominees, we’ll see you on the night.

Aug 15

Summer Cooking

Two weeks ago was a glorious Friday for Blueface as it marked our annual party. This is one of the rare occasions we all manage to spend time with one another from our Dublin and Rome offices although there were still a few missing on holidays. Our day began with “Dee” the photographer who took beautiful photos of our team. We recently expanded to another floor in our IFSC building and want to give each person a profile on our reception wall.

Blueface Group Photo

Blueface Group Photo

For our personal portraits we were asked to write down our favorite quote and hold it up. It truly is amazing how much a quote can tell about someone. They ranged from, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” to the infamous Conor McGregor quote “We’re not here to take part, we’re here to takeover!“.

Once the group photos were done, we began our journey to Blackrock cookery school. As we walked out of the office, to catch a DART from Connolly station, we were blessed with a sprout of Irish weather and pounded on for ten minutes by torrential rain. A nice way to freshen up at the end of your working day!

The Dublin cookery school was stunning. We were all greeted by an amazing Apéritif (champagne and beautiful freshly made starters).


The starters were:

  • Supplì
  • Small bruschetta with pàtè and caramelized onion on top
  • Black pudding sticks
  • Cucumber and salmon pàtè and many more.
Blackrock Cookery School

Blackrock Cookery School

Once the Apéritif was finished we moved into the next room (which was hidden from the first) to begin our cookery lesson with Eric. He taught us how to make mouth-watering ravioli, a leg of pork accompanied by potatoes topped with mint sauce, and for desert a delicate chocolate soufflé, yum yum.

As the lesson finished we were divided up into teams and put to the test. Each team had to repeat exactly what Eric had just taught us. It is safe to say, we were all hilarious. The best part of our day was the last, which we did not expect. We were sat down in the final room (which was also hidden from the first three) with lovely wine to taste and told to wait. Suddenly after about a half hour we were served a three-course meal. Little did we know that it was what WE had cooked, and let me tell you something, it was delicious.

To top off our day we had a couple of drinks in The Three Tun Tavern in Blackrock. It’s not often you are blessed to work with an amazing team of people, but in Blueface I feel we definitely are!

Dee Organ Photography-078-7251

Cooking up a storm

By Victoria McAuley

Aug 15

Kabzy Interview – Blueface Competition Winner

Brian Martin with Michael Flanagan of Kabzy

Brian Martin with Michael Flanagan of Kabzy

Blueface was delighted to present Michael Flanagan, winner of our Web Summit Competition, with a cheque for €1,000. We caught up with Michael to learn more about his start up - Kabzy.

What is Kabzy?

Kabzy provides all vehicle owners and particularly taxi drivers with a unique vehicle security product.

Our taxi product connects any driver to a trained emergency response operator with one tap of our in-vehicle panic button. We also use a CCTV camera to keep a record of an incident, so liability in the event of an accident or incident can be clearly proven. If a taxi is hijacked or stolen, we have the capability to safely disable the vehicle in seconds and it is tracked at all times.

We also provide car owners with the ability to safely disable their vehicle from their smartphone from anywhere in the world – within seconds. With the Kabzy mobile app, you can disable your car at night and even if your keys are stolen your car is not going anywhere. With one tap of a button in the app, you can enable your car in less than 4 seconds. You can also track your vehicle at all times and set a virtual fence around your car so if it is illegally moved you are instantly notified.


What triggered you to start Kabzy?

I had been working on a taxi safety product for passengers for three years, so I was in the taxi space. From speaking to many taxi drivers it was apparent that there was a real need for a service that protects drivers, so we pivoted the business around this problem. The number of taxi hijackings are growing rapidly, so we set out to create a service that covers as many angles as possible for drivers.

When we came up with the product I demonstrated it to friends and family and there was a consistent reaction throughout every demo I did.  What I kept hearing was, “I would use that in my car!”. It became apparent that this product appeals to everyone who owns a car and not just taxi drivers. Whether you are a private car owner or a fleet manager, having the ability to safely disable your vehicle and track it from your smartphone is a useful product, and as they say ‘the rest is history’.


What has the feedback been like so far?

The feedback has been amazing. When we tell taxi drivers and car owners what it can do, they are amazed. There is nothing else like this available and we believe that this is the future of vehicle security. Peoples’ reactions have been one of my main driving forces through the difficult times. Their reactions have bolstered my thoughts that we are onto something big here, so there’s no turning back now.


What difficulties have you encountered along the way?

For the taxi industry one of our biggest problems was making the product affordable to taxi drivers. We install a lot of hardware into the taxi and it doesn’t come cheap. Over the past six months we’ve worked hard to look at ways how we can reduce the upfront cost to the driver as much as we possibly can. We now offer a package where they can pay on a weekly basis.

Another difficulty I faced was convincing taxi owners that this new technology will bring value to their business. Our technology is completely new to the taxi industry, so it was difficult to persuade taxi fleet owners that this is the way forward. Thankfully in June this year we signed our first large taxi customer who are Ozone Cabs, who are based in Bluebell Business Park, D12. Ozone embrace new technology and have fitted their entire taxi fleet with Kabzy. Ozone recognised that by adding driver security to their fleet that this gave their rental company a greater competitive edge. Having a large reference customer like Ozone makes it a lot easier when we approach other Taxi companies.


What’s next in your plan for growing Kabzy?

At the moment we are sales focused. We have a great product but we now need to tell the world about it. We have just secured Enterprise Ireland funding and also private investment, so our aim now is to build a strong customer base internationally. We believe providing the owner with the ability to secure their vehicle from their smartphone is the future for vehicle security. We are currently in talks with some of the major insurance companies working on the potential for reduced vehicle premiums for having Kabzy installed.


If I wanted to put Kabzy in my car, what would it cost me?

The price is €395 which includes taxes, installation and 12 months monitoring. For this you can track your vehicle 24/7, disable it anytime, anywhere and set a virtual fence around your car all by simply pressing a button from your phone.


Do you have a particular target market outside of Ireland you’re looking to break into?

The U.K. is the obvious choice with over 36 million vehicles on the road. In May this year, I spent three weeks in London knocking on doors and getting feedback on our product. The response was fantastic and I learnt so much about the taxi market, but also the private car and fleet market too. Over the next 12 months I’ve set ourselves a target of entering the UK market and we plan to achieve this through strategic partnerships with a number of talks already underway. There are exciting times ahead.

Jun 15

10 Compelling Reasons Why Blueface is Right for your Business


If it’s your first time hearing about Blueface, then this guide is perfect for understanding just why Blueface is the right choice for your business. This free PDF will give you a quick snapshot of the ten most popular reasons why Irish business owners choose Blueface. Some of the areas that will be covered are as follows:

  • Administration Workload
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Workforce Mobility
  • Onboarding Experience
  • Ease of Switching
  • Ongoing Business Support

Download the 10 Reasons to Choose Blueface Guide here.

If you’d rather watch in video format instead, why not check out our YouTube Video below:


Jun 15

Addressing Buyer Concerns

common voip buyer concerns

Choosing to move supplier across any service in your business is an important decision. If it goes wrong, it can not only cost your company time and money to reverse the move, it also reflects badly on you for making the decision.

Of making a positive decision to switch phone provider can result in cost savings, increased capabilities for your company and the kudos that goes with being the person to make change happen.  Educating yourself on the new provider in advance of making the move is the best thing you can do to de-risk any move.

This free whitepaper on Addressing VOIP Buyer Concerns has been designed for you and other stakeholders in your business considering:

  • Moving phone provider
  • Changing phone system
  • Exploring new technologies in communications
  • Reducing telecoms expenditure

Moving to Blueface is a fundamentally different experience when coming from a traditional phone provider such as Eircom. There are differences in technology, cost and capabilities you’ll enable for your business that you should be aware of.

Did we miss a concern you might have? Drop us an email at sales at blueface.ie and we’ll be glad to answer.

May 15

5 PBX Capabilities Your Business Needs

1. Voicemail to Email
Receiving your voicemail by email is the biggest advance in voicemail since, well, voicemail. Forget having to dial your provider’s access number, and listening to each voicemail in sequence. Each time someone leaves you a message you receive it by email on your smartphone or computer so you can listen to it whenever you want. You can save it, delete it, forward it, listen to it again. If you regularly have to get through 5 messages before getting to the one you really want, then you really really need this.

2. Single voicemail for your fixed and mobile phones
If you have an office phone and a mobile phone, you’ll know how annoying it is to have to access two separate voicemail systems. One single voicemail for all your numbers is just so much easier, especially when you can access it from any device, and have messages delivered by email – see number 1 above!

3. Virtual Numbers
Remember when your phone number was tied to your physical address? No? Well then you’re under 30 :) It is now possible to have as many numbers as you like all directed to the same single physical phone – and that can be a fixed or mobile phone. Imagine you want to open a New York office but you’re stuck in sunny Cork. Get a virtual New York number and have the calls delivered to your mobile phone – useful so you can answer them wherever you like. Anyone calling that number in the US will be charged as normal for a New York call. You can have as many numbers as you like from all over the world. Argentina, Spain, Italy, UK, US, you name it!

4. Be in 2-or-more places at once
There was a time when your phone rang and if you weren’t there you missed the call. These days you can have a single number and many different phones which will all ring as you prefer. So if someone calls your desk number, you can have your desk-phone, your mobile and your alternate desk phone ring simultaneously. Simply pick up the call wherever you are and nobody is any the wiser. Just remember background noise if you’re telling your boss that you are working from home!

5. Free Call Conferencing
Call conferencing is more popular now than ever, and what better way to save time on travel than to have your own personal call conference room available for free. Local and global access numbers make call conferencing the low cost way to get your business done without having to travel.

Get a free audit of your business’ communications set-up. Contact our sales team on 01 524 2000 to see how your business can improve with Blueface.

By Feargal Brady