Latest News > Other

  • The Stockton-based telecommunications company says businesses can easily switch from the outdated ISDN system in favour of SIP, which ensures continuity of productivity wherever their employees are via hosted telephony.

    This replaces traditional landlines which keep staff anchored to their office desk with a cloud-based system hosted remotely and connected via the internet.

    Odyssey Systems is advising businesses in the North East that they can follow the example of social media giant Twitter by allowing staff to work from home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    It says such capabilities will prove crucial in supporting the UK economy and maintaining services, should the country experience a significant outbreak of coronavirus.

    As well as current concerns over health, remote working is increasingly becoming a lifestyle choice – with the Office of National Statistics predicting that 50 percent of UK employees will be working remotely by the end of this year. Meanwhile, 90 percent of staff say they’d like to work remotely at least part time.

    Innovative and agile technology such as SIP deliver advanced remote working capabilities, video and web conferencing plus the flexibility to add or remove users without disruption or extra cost.

    Installing a hosted system is both easy and inexpensive and offers complete freedom by connecting staff in the car, at home or across multiple sites via desktop phone, laptop or mobile app – with the same functionality as an office-based system.

    Call quality is guaranteed to be superior than calling a landline or a user’s mobile and clients are unable to tell the difference if connected to a home extension and any issues over background noise are solved through the use of noise cancelling headsets.

    In a blog post, Twitter announced this week that it was mandatory for its staff in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea to work remotely – while it was “strongly encouraging” its 5,000 employees around the globe not to come in as part of its strategy to prevent the spread  of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

    Mike Odysseas, founder and managing director of Odyssey Systems, said: “Modern technology makes it possible for any business to follow the lead of Twitter and allow their employees to work from home – or virtually any location, if required.

    “Such a capability could prove crucial to preserving the economy and maintaining services should the UK fall victim to a mass outbreak of coronavirus – but it can also save both businesses and their employees time and money.

    “Various studies have found staff who work from home are more productive and so remote working can have a really positive effect. We have grown used to working as part of a team in a fixed location but everyone can learn to work differently. I believe more and more businesses will adopt a more relaxed attitude towards remote working as cloud-based solutions grow and reshape every sector.”

  • The latest Women in Business event has been hosted by Odyssey Systems – with the role and ethics of the BBC firmly in the picture.

    The discussion group, which meets on a regular basis at our Stockton headquarters, also raised the question of how news is reported as well as the devastating effects of social media.

    The forum, which involves several leading Tees Valley businesswomen, acknowledged that while the BBC was an important source of political news there was a perception – especially in its coverage of the Brexit debate – that it had failed to remain neutral, with much of its reporting biased towards the ‘Remain’ campaign.

    Christine Gilbert, director of Odyssey Systems, said: “The overall feeling of those around the table was a desire for the BBC to be both measured and impartial in its coverage of news.

    “Much of the reporting in the media is sensationalised, which has the effect of obscuring the real facts.”

    The group also discussed the negative effects of social media in the wake of the tragic death of Love Island presenter, Caroline Flack, and the online bullying and criticism targeted against her.

    Added Christine: “The sad fact is that social media is largely a free-for-all where keyboard warriors feel they have a right to spill their vitriol at anyone they wish, no matter how undeserving.

    “There is a disconnect provided by social media that means users feel emboldened to write whatever they want – when they wouldn’t dream of repeating it were they face to face with their ‘victims’.

    Those who attended the meeting were: Linda Wearmouth, Christine Gilbert, Danuta Czerwinska, Fiona Charlton, Joanne Dougherty, Angela Ashcroft, Louise Wheatley, Chris Nolan, Barbara Brooks, Jill Tyerman, Cath Devereux, Karen Shields and Marnie Crowther

  • Odyssey Systems has invested in a cost-effective electric vehicle charging station that has increased its charging capacity fourfold.

    The Stockton-based telecommunications company is now able to keep its four electric cars on the road much longer, thanks to the rapid charge technology.

    The installation of the charger – part of the company’s ongoing strategy to convert its entire fleet to electric – is also available for Odyssey staff to use, encouraging more to switch to hybrid or pure electric vehicles for their daily commute.

    The Rolec 22kW Quantum pedestal charger, installed by Hartlepool-based JDM Earth, can deliver up to a 90-mile range after just one hour’s charge, with a full charge taking between three and five hours.

    This is compared with an outdated EV charger already fitted at the Preston Farm premises that requires an entire day to fully charge just one electric vehicle – which previously severely limited the number of electric vehicles the company could operate.

    Andrew Middlemiss, finance director of Odyssey Systems said: “This really is a game changer as the business transitions towards creating a greener fleet of vehicles.

    “We were restricted by ‘range anxiety’ based on the length of time it took to achieve a full charge and the limited number of vehicles able to be plugged in.

    “This new charge point allows our salespeople to hit the road with sufficient range for a round trip to Leeds or Newcastle. It means electric vehicles are no longer at a disadvantage when compared with their petrol or diesel counterparts.

    “We’re keen to convert our entire fleet to electric, as it makes sense both for both the environment and our business, which is rapidly evolving in its aim to become carbon neutral.

    “Odyssey Systems is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and I hope that by investing in this charging infrastructure we can play a part in the growing trend towards a widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

    Jennifer Mullen, operations director of JDM Earth, said: “As an EV charging installation specialist, we are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of businesses installing workplace charge points.

    “As the technology continues to evolve, there has been a growing demand for electric cars, this is largely due to the upcoming tax incentives for electric company vehicles, cost efficiencies, the current subsidies available and also businesses looking to increase their green credentials.”

  • Tees Valley-based Odyssey Systems is helping to boost the productivity at PD Ports, one of the UK’s major port groups, with the completion of the final phase of a major telephony infrastructure project.

    Odyssey was tasked with streamlining PD Ports’ system to provide an end-to-end solution and improve connectivity across its multiple sites throughout the country.

    PD Ports previously worked with several suppliers to deliver its telephony requirements and the partnership with Odyssey allows it to be managed by one, locally-based supplier that has helped to reduce costs through measures implemented by the telecommunications firm.

    The complete overhaul of the service, which was completed over a two year period, given the complexity of the project with multiple providers previously involved, included the installation of a Mitel MiVoice business system, utilising PD Ports’ existing land connectivity and routers, so no further investment was required.

    The new system also provides a number of desktop and mobile-based apps to enhance employees’ internal and external communications, as well as allow them to see the presence of everyone on the network.

    Encrypted call recording is another feature that has been installed to provide additional security measures and to ensure PD Ports meets current regulatory requirements.

    Odyssey’s team of technicians also provided comprehensive staff training upon completion of the project, having worked closely with PD Ports’ entire IT team to implement the efficient measures.

    Jan-Willem Rikkerink, IT Director at PD Ports, said: “Working with Odyssey Systems, we’re now on a telephone system that fits our business requirements and will support our future growth.

    “Communication is a key element of our business and bringing all of our employees together on one system will ensure we can continue to provide the best service for our customers. Now that the systems are in place, Odyssey continues to provide great ongoing support and the projected cost savings are now being realised.

    Matthew Park, Sales Manager at Odyssey Systems, said: “Our work with PD Ports demonstrates our ability to deliver effective solutions on behalf of clients, regardless of size or complexity. We have worked tirelessly and effectively to deliver a system fit for one of the region’s leading businesses that will boost connectivity between its extensive workforce and sites across the country.

    “We are looking forward to building on this partnership with PD Ports and providing them with the technological tools to be able to service its customer more efficiently that will boost its productivity.” 

    Established in 1987, Odyssey Systems is an award-winning company and leading supplier of hosted telephony, cloud services and high-speed connectivity solutions to more than 2,500 customers in the UK.

  • mans hand on mouse at work

    Telecommunications specialist Mike Odysseas is warning North East businesses of an increase in targeted, sophisticated email fraud.

    His business, Stockton-based Odyssey Systems has experienced a spike in ‘socially-engineered fraud’ where scammers are using advanced methods to extract money from their victims.

    The company is now monitoring more than 200 emails per day within the million messages sent to its Internet Service Provider (ISP) business customers where fraudsters appear to adopt people’s email addresses and try to encourage financial transactions with the email account holder’s contacts.

    Common email fraud practices, known as phishing, aim to trick recipients into believing they know the person or company corresponding with them.  To prevent being caught by these scams, recipients can check the email address the message comes, which will reveal it has no connection to the supposed real sender.

    However, scammers are now utilising a new method, which actually mirrors real email addresses and make messages look genuine and, therefore, can also fool monitoring systems and programmes including Microsoft Outlook.

    Fraudsters are also researching the contacts the accounts they are mirroring and their contacts to make the emails more genuine and dupe unsuspecting victims.

    Odyssey Systems, which provides ISP services to hundreds of businesses across the North East, has identified this new practice and is employing new protocols within its automated email monitoring systems, including the ability to identify the fraudsters Internet Protocol (IP) address to capture these email before they reach their recipients

    Mike Odysseas, Managing Director of Odyssey Systems, said: “This kind of socially-engineered fraud is on the rise and people have to remain vigilant.  It means questioning any messages they receive about financial transactions, even if it looks like it’s from someone they know.

    “Fraudsters are relentless in their use of email as a way to illegally obtain money.  This latest method has the ability to not only trick recipients through a genuine looking message, but also fool computer programmes into thinking it has been generated by the real email address.

    “This could have serious financial implications for North East businesses and as a responsible Internet Service Provider we are continually creating new variables to prevent this horrendous practice from affecting our customers.”

  • fibre_optic_broadband_large_634x306x24_expand_h8dac07c7

    Being twice winner of the North East Business Awards for Customer Service, we are very proud of how we communicate with existing and potential customers. We take a matter of fact view to our interaction; a no nonsense way of explaining what is best for their chosen communication route. No hidden agendas, no false promises.

    A recent government scheme has been introduced to enable eligible businesses access to better, quicker broadband. With the improvement of broadband connectivity, businesses will be able to have seamless contact to remote workers, video conferencing which will reduce travel time and expense, clearer and more reliable VoIP telephony and Cloud technology for storing and saving data.

    This is a great scheme for a totally free grant of £3,000 towards the investment of new infrastructure and improving your current internet connectivity.

    It really is great news. We, like many other telecommunication and IT specialists are registered as suppliers on a national database, and are busy helping businesses flourish by getting them technologically equipped for the rigors of having an online footprint and trading in the digital world.

    We have seen first-hand and been advised of various offers that have been made to potential customers regarding the scheme. Some of the offers are unethical and some totally fraudulent, such as ‘Cash Back’ and ‘Shared Ownership’.

    We thought we would clarify and bullet point what the essential facts are, so you can be clear on what you can get:

    • The voucher scheme is for installation of equipment only.
    • You have less than 250 staff.
    • You have not had 250,000 of government grants.
    • Offer a minimum of 20 Mbit/s services and capable of being configured/upgraded to support at least 30 Mbit/s services.

    You will not be able to offset any of the £3,000 on any on-going monthly charges for calls or services; this is purely for the infrastructure for broadband. You will have to commit to at least a six month broadband agreement with your supplier.

    You are not in one of the following sectors: fishery and aquaculture primary production, processing and marketing of agriculture products, coal, steel and shipbuilding.

    Part of our longevity in business has been sageness to claims that over promise and under deliver, so if you would like to have a no nonsense conversation with us, we will be able to de-mystify the scheme and clarify what you can and can’t get for your free £3,000.

    Or visit the Government website for more information by clicking here

  • Running a successful department or business has many contributing factors, one of which is the well being of employees and the massive impact they have on the customer experience and ultimately the profitability of the business.


    There has been a changing trend for companies to recognise that getting the work – life balance right for its employees, can have a positive impact on individual’s attitude and ultimately the overall productivity in the workforce.

    It is a legal right for employees to request flexible working, and giving employees the option to work from home is one of the ways in which telecommunications, in particular unified communications can produce a happy workforce.

    Being flexible to employees gives them a sense of well being and creates loyalty to the employer. From allowing the lone parent to work remotely when their child is ill, to the senior executive who travels the length of the country Monday to Friday time to return home Thursday night and to work on Friday catching up on emails and administration.

    Having a trusted telecommunication partner to deliver your unified communications or UC, as it is also known, is crucial  to making flexible working work well, as unified communications is more than just having broadband, landline and mobile. It incorporates real time connectivity, such as extension mobility, instant messaging and telepresence, such as audio and video conferencing.

    UC makes it possible to make and receive calls from a business telephone number, which in practical terms takes away the difficulty of locating a contact number for that employee by the caller. By having single number reach, you have one phone number to contact that employee wherever they may be; in the office, working remotely or in transit between the two.

    If unified communications is something that you are considering here is our guide for the essentials:


    Getting the infrastructure right is essential for seamless flexible working. Here are our top recommendations:

    Business specification broadband with minimum 3mbps download and 1 mbps uploads.

      • Separate to data broadband
      • FTTC or Leased line is the best option for main office usage
    • IP desk phones for the office and off site location.
    • Windows or mac, PC or laptop with internet enabled WIFI or 3g.
    • Android or IOS – 3G, 4G, or WIFI needed on Smartphone for internet connectivity.


    If you would like to find out more about unified communications, call us on 01642 661800 or email


  • Put simply, Mitel is one of the leading communications solutions companies in the world. Offering a myriad of features and benefits such as call quality and value for money, they are pretty much unrivalled when it comes to desktop IT telephones. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages a system like this could have for your business…

    Who is Mitel?

    Mitel business phone systems cover a wide range of digital and IP phones, conference telephones, consoles, and peripherals suited to businesses ranging in size, and span across countless industries and sectors. Having one of the market’s most comprehensive portfolios of products solidifies their place as an industry leader. Mitel phones are not only offer advanced features and functionality, but are also very simple to use for all employees within your business.

    Mitel 5360 telephone odyssey systems


    What are the advantages of using a Mitel phone system?

    There are so many advantages of using a top of the range telephone system like this. Not only is it the most utterly bombproof and reliable system bar none, it also continues to work without reboots unlike any other system on the market. Here are just some of the key reasons to invest in telephony like this:

    • Efficiency – There are a plethora of added features on a Mitel phone system that will give your employees the opportunity to work smarter. As the systems come with multiple features such as auto attendant and unified messaging, this ensures that call handling is much easier than ever before. Another key feature, ‘Presence’, has the intelligence to locate someone that is available to answer a call at the time – whether they are inside or outside the office.
    • Cost-effective – The initial purchase of a complete business telephone system can be costly, however, the advantages of a Mitel system will help you tighten your budget in the long term. Utilising just one network for both data and communication requirements, this will greatly reduce call costs, which is ideal for organisations that operate from multiple locations.
    • Productivity – Increasing productivity is crucial within any company, and a Mitel system can help you do this. Being straightforward and enjoyable to use and manage, calls can be handled competently, saving time in the long run. With Mitel, you can be safe in the mind that all calls can be answered, and with a single number and mailbox system for every individual, it takes the hassle out of telephony.
    • Enhances customer experience – Customers can be diverted to their desired point of call through Mitel’s automatic call distribution feature. There is also the ability to apply pre-recorded messages so that callers can be diverted to the correct department or person they require at any given time. Not only does this increase customers’ reliability but it also gives a more professional appearance to your business.
    • Saves time for intelligent working – If you want to work remotely, then this is something you can do easily, allowing you to take your work wherever you want. ‘Hotdesking’, teleworking and twinning are also great features offered by Mitel. ‘Twinning’ prevents important calls from being missed and will give employees the freedom to move around the office, routing their preferences to any IP enabled telephone handset within the building.
    • Flexibility – Mitel provide many different types of telephone solution and are equipped to service all businesses sizes, from SMEs to large enterprises. These bespoke solutions allow your staff to work outside of the office, driving real efficiency within the organisation. Dynamic extension is an excellent feature that will stop you worrying about the availability of your staff, granting them the privilege of being a lot more flexible with their time. Up to eight different devices can be linked to just one phone number, so customers will be able to contact an employee without having to dial numbers for every single department.

    For more information on how Odyssey can transform your business telephone system with a Mitel solution, as well as the different models that are available, give us a call on 01642 661800, or drop us a line on

  • In part two of our blog series on how to best utilise telecoms in business, we’ll be looking at the latest telephone system technology, telecoms training and what to do when things go wrong.

    1. Making the most of telephone system usage statistics 

    Mike Odysseas, Odyssey Telecoms ProvidersMonitoring telephony stats will increase your chances of making savings and reducing waste. Which staff or departments are taking too long to answer the phone? Instead of hiring more staff, monitor average call length and take steps to bring it down. Spot trends in busy periods, and adjust shift patterns to suit. Monitor line usage and scale up or down as required. Advertise a different DDI (Direct Dial In) telephone number on your marketing activities to track return on investment. Spot how many missed calls you’re receiving, at what time and to whom. Why not build a set of telephony KPIs and display them on a wallboard in the office – you’ll soon find staff start managing their own telephony practices. At Odyssey, we offer a web portal that allows our customers to monitor phone usage at the click of a button. 

    2. Utilising the latest telecoms technology

    • We like to keep up with the latest technology so that you can keep ahead of your competitors. Simple. Here’s some of the good stuff we’re offering at the moment:
    • Any Number, Anywhere: with the adoption of VoIP (telephone calls over the internet), numbers from any area code in the UK, or even any country in the world can be delivered anywhere with no redirection fees.
    • Remote Handsets: desktop handsets installed in a completely different geographic location to your business telephone system that present and ring with your office telephone numbers.
    • Linked Sites: turn multiple sites into one fully integrated telephone system.
    • Mobile Extensions: forget having three different telephone numbers. Advertise a single telephone number that will reach you on your desk phone, mobile or laptop wherever you are in the world.
    • CTI: Computer Telephony Integration bridges the gap between your phone and PC. Automatically open a customer account in your CRM when they ring, or prompt staff to update records after a call has completed.

    3. Training your team in telephony

    At Odyssey we’re believers in the power of education. We offer free training for all of our customers, not just when their telephone system is first installed, but ongoing to make sure everyone is kept in the loop. There are hundreds of powerful features in telephony that can really help your business function, but as a starter for ten ensure staff can complete the following: blind transfer, attended transfer, call parkiOdyssey telephone providers for businessng, call pickup, monitor, barge, conferencing, call forwarding, DND, and voicemail. Fully trained staff means quick, efficient handling of calls, which means avoiding time and money wastage. Simple. 

    4. Having a backup plan

    Technology is fantastic; it’s what makes what we do possible, but as a fact of life we need to be prepared for failures and glitches. Things can go wrong for all sorts of reasons; power surges, power loss, damage to external cabling, accidental cancellation of required services – the list goes on. At Odyssey, we make it our responsibility to provide help when it’s needed. We have fully trained engineers at hand, and are always stocked with the hardware needed to replace any part (even for equipment that’s long since been discontinued by the manufacturer). For power, we’d recommend running your telephone system and associated equipment via an uninterruptible power supply or UPS. There are loads of measures like these that you can take to ensure you have the best chance of avoiding trouble. We’re happy to advise you on all of them and, of course, be there when you need an expert hand. 

    When it comes down to it, it’s important not to disregard telecoms as a minor part of any business. With the right attention to detail and good advice from experts that care about your business, telecoms can perform at optimum level to ensure communication never fails. 

  • We know that communication is an essential part of business. It’s what makes things tick and progress; it lets ideas develop and achievements be made. That’s why we’ve compiled this two-part blog giving advice on some techniques to make the most out of telephone systems in business. It’s simple stuff that everyone should be doing. 

    1. Choose the right business telephone provider, and stick with them Odyssey Business Telephone Systems

    Communication is the life blood of business. Therefore, choosing the right supplier is, well, kind of a big deal. Plus, trusting your business telecoms to more than one supplier could introduce confusion and, in turn, wasted money and time. Ever experienced an issue where fingers are always pointing somewhere else? Dealing with a single supplier for your telephone lines, calls, system and connectivity allows you to assign ownership and clear responsibility for ensuring your business remains connected. At Odyssey we take the time to get to know where a business has come from, where they’re going, what their challenges are and where they need support. 

    2. Think hard about who will choose your telecoms system  

    Procuring the right telephony is an art, especially when you think of telecoms as an essential back bone to your business. With this in mind, it’s all about thinking really hard about who’s going to be assigned the job. The best bet is to choose someone that is motivated by value, not cost. Someone able to gather information from experts in their field, and make an informed decision. Of course, at Odyssey it’s our job to help that person, whoever they may be, every step of the way with comprehensive advice.

    3. Be aware of nasty billing tricks

    At Odyssey, we believe in simplicity. We strive to make everything as clear as possible for our customers because it makes their lives easier and, well, ours too. This, however, is not the case for every telecoms supplier. It’s essential to keep your eye out for a few nasty tricks that could be costing you money when it comes to billing:

    • Call connection fees
    • Large minimum call charges
    • Capped rate call packages
    • Per minute rounding, call commitments
    • Bundled minute packages
    • Out of bundle usage charges
    • Existing contract buyouts and non direct debit payment charges

    4. Control phone usage with tailored access and call destinations

    Odyssey Systems Phone Providers for BusinessThere’s no harm in introducing restrictions to phone usage in your business. In fact, there are tonnes of benefits to be gained from doing so. Let’s take a minute to reflect. Is there really an excuse for spending £3.50 to a118 number when a quick Google would have done the job? At Odyssey, we know how frustrating it can be when spending rockets because of extortionate rates. That’s why we inform our customers when they’ve made a premium rate call. We’re also happy to bar destinations at network level, and to set up a “class of service” to limit which handsets or members of staff can make calls to high cost destinations.

    5. Get savvy to bundled minute packages 

    A surefire way to save on telecoms spending is to make sure that bundled minute packages align with actual minute usage. It’s a supplier’s dream when 80% of their customers use less than 20% of their minutes. Yet most of us opt for large bundles for the sake of having peace of mind (“I’ll never go over that number of minutes.”) This often results in a load of minutes sitting there unused, every month. A good way to tackle this is to take a look at the average of the last three months of your business’s bills and do a rough calculation on what minutes are going where. Voila – with this new knowledge you’re already better equipped to choose a bundle package that isn’t ladened with stuff you don’t need.

    Until part II, remember –  it’s all about taking small measures to feel big benefits from your business’s telecoms.  

  • These are Odyssey birthdays!


    Steak & ChipsWe always look forward to celebrating a birthday here at Odyssey and one of those reasons usually revolves around the fact that we have a chance to eat cake, guilt free. So a special gift from the directors each member of staff receives a carefully thought out bespoke birthday cake encompassing one of their specific interests. It was therefore no surprise when we saw SIP specialist, Kriss Sowerby’s cake it revolved around food as Kriss’ love and interest for food is by no means a secret to the rest of the Odyssey office. Im sure you will agree this absolutely fantastic “cake take” on Steak and Chips looks as good as the real thing. This delight was whipped up by the Magic hands of Kathryn Hardy from Much Ado About Muffins, based in Stockton on Tees, and we were told it was absolutely delicious.


    Not one to make a huge fuss about his Birthday, Andrew normally manages to avoid the Odyssey cake ritual by taking a strategic day off and not mentioning a word about the big day until after the event. This year we were wise to his actions, although Andrew did take the day off for his birthday we surprised him a day later with this truly fitting cake. As Odysseys accountant the cake made by Karen at The Cake Works in darlington encompasses everything that Andrew loves, including spread sheets, cricket and cycling. One staff member did however joke that the cake maker had been generous with the amount of hair they had placed on Andrews head, Happy Birthday Andrew.


    Richard_OdysseyA big Happy Birthday to Richard Finn, part of the Odyssey Accounts Team. Richard was nice enough to share his “car breakdown” inspired cake with the rest of the team,  so we have all sat down with a nice cup of tea and slice of cake. But I hear you asking “why a car breakdown cake?” Well it has something to do with Richard’s amazing luck with cars. Happy Birthday Rich!


    We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Odyssey Engineer Paul Concannon. It couldn’t be more fitting that out ‘phone loving’ engineer had a cake made by The Cake Works in the shape of the same thing.
    Paul didn’t mention his age, but I think we can safely assume the era of the phone style has no direct correlation with Paul’s age.

  • 00_lead_image_encrypted_emailThis week Google made an astonishing admission that gmail users and people that email Google shouldn’t expect privacy.

    The company claims ‘all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing’

    A brief for Google commented ‘just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipients assistant opens the letter, people who use web based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipients email provider in the course of delivery.

    Last week, Google’s android phone operating systems revealed a feature that will scan for networks and track use’s location even when WIFI has been turned off.

    Nick pickles director of privacy group Big Brother Watch said ‘Google has repeatedly put profit in front of user privacy and the way the company ignored the concerns from regulators around the world when it changes its privacy policy showed just how little regard it had for the law.

    Just because Google is big business does not put it above the law. The company has ignored the authorities and refused to make any meaningful changes to how it collects and uses people’s data.

    Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their data is being used and it is essential that those breaking the law are properly punished. It is essential regulators find a sanction that is not just a slap on the wrists and will make Google think twice before it ignores consumer rights again.

    Mike Odysseas managing director of Odyssey Systems said,” we respect our customer’s privacy, Details shared between businesses and their customers over email are highly confidential, it would be unethical to ‘snoop’ in on people’s private conversations. This is why we never read any of our customer’s emails and we do not keep a hard copy of them, we believe that a private conversation should be exactly that”

  • Odyssey
    In a 21st century economy, it’s almost unbelievable that one in four working mothers feel discriminated against at work.

    Although usually a subject that is rarely spoken about openly, a survey by law firm Slater and Gordon, which saw almost 2,000 women talk candidly about their real feelings on the subject, made sobering and shocking reading.

    According to the figures, about half of those questioned thought their chances of career progression had been halted, while the same proportion felt attitudes of bosses and colleagues changed towards them once they announced their pregnancy.

    And while the Government used the revelation to remind employers that discrimination against women who are pregnant or on maternity leave is illegal, there is clearly a huge cultural problem with UK employers in helping parents work flexibly.

    Part of the issue is that it’s a taboo subject – nobody wants to talk about it. This survey has opened up the debate, which is a positive step, but more needs to be done. Business cannot simply keep writing off the considerable talents and experience of thousands of women, simply because they become mothers.

    As well as being wasteful, illegal and morally abhorrent, employers who discriminate against working mums are extremely short sighted. Failing to help your employees gain a good work-home balance makes absolutely no business sense whatsoever.

    Employers should try to accommodate staff as much as reasonably possible because it’s the right thing to do, but also because happy workforce is a productive workforce. And replacing employees who leave because they are unhappy is an expensive business. It costs, on average, about 30 to 50 per cent of an entry level salary to replace an employee, with this figure rising to 150 per cent for middle management. As well as keeping the business stable, low staff turnover costs the company less in the long run.

    I offer any member of staff who needs to work flexibly the opportunity to do so and will help in any reasonable way to accommodate each and every employee. With modern communications, there really is no reason why employees in the vast majority of industry sectors can’t work flexibly or from home. I am more than happy to allow my hard-working and highly-skilled team members to work from home when a child is ill or to help with childcare arrangements. If staff need time off to take a child to the doctors, I don’t see this as a problem, because I know my staff are happy to go the extra mile when I need them to. It should be about give and take.

    Employees are a business’s biggest asset. I would much rather offer a highly skilled and experienced employee the chance to work flexibly than see them walk out of the door because of a poor work-life balance. Extra efforts to accommodate the employee will, in the most part, be rewarded with a commodity that you can’t put a price on – loyalty. Companies in the UK need to wake up to this, start to think creatively about flexible working and stop writing off working mothers.


  • ODY_6767The sun was shining and crowds of people were out in force for the annual Daisy Chain Project Dragon Boat Race. The Odyssey Team were pitted against strong competiton from 22 other teams from various local businesses.

    With the races underway the Odyssey Team eagerly waited for their turn, the much anticipated call came in the fourth heat for the team to man the boats and slowly row their way to start line. Up against two strong competitors they were ready for action, after a loud blow from the starting horn they were off. After a slow start the Odyssey team, through sheer grit and determination gained ground. With yards to the finish line they were neck and neck with the leaders, but were piped to the post by inches in the last few strokes.

    The Odyssey team had a chance to dry off before second race was announced, but they knew they needed to secure a win in this race to avoid dropping out in the early rounds. With a quick change around in members and some swift team tactics the Odyssey crew manned their boat for the second time.

    Race two was particular crowded with 4 teams in the running, including a team from Daisy chain and Barclays. With the pressure on they knew they had to win. After a much quicker start the team were neck and neck for first place all the way, storming toward the finish they crossed it victorious (or so they had thought). After quiet celebrations the winners were announced, but he accolade didn’t fall to Odyssey Systems. They couldn’t believe it, and neither could the Odyssey Spectators.

    The team quickly ran to view the pictures from the finish line, “we was robbed”  it looked like the Odyssey boat clearly crossed the line in first place. With camera in hand, Mike Odysseas ran to plead with the judges and after much deliberation a re-run was called.

    For the third time the Odyssey team mounted the boat and made their way to the start line.  It was all or nothing for them now.  Did they win…………..?

    Unfortunately they did not, they were well and truly beaten by a much stronger team from Daisy Chain who later on went to win the competition, but a fantastic day was had by all.

  • Shaun and Harry PR shotWe are delighted to welcome two new members to the Odyssey Systems Team.
    Harry Shilbach and Shaun Scott-Johnson have been recruited to service our growing customer base after achieving a steady growth over the past 12 months.Harry, 35, from Darlington, has a BSc in Business Computing and background in IT support and service centre management. He has previously worked for companies including Siemens and BUPA. He will be working with our Chief IT Engineer in maintaining Odyssey’s exemplary standards of customer service.

    Shaun, 23, from Billingham, is an English Language graduate and former Student Union Vice President. He worked in retail before joining Odyssey and will be working in customer service.

    Outside of work, Harry enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, as well as cycling and walking in the Lakes. Shaun likes spinning and going to the gym and is also a black belt in All Styles Martial Arts.

    Mike Odysseas, Managing Director of Odyssey Systems, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Harry and Shaun to Odyssey. Due to the hard work of staff and maintenance of high standards, we are managing to grow as the economy is recovering, reaping the rewards of 26 years of excellent customer service. Harry and Shaun are both exemplary candidates and fantastic additions to the team.”

  • For the second time in the same week we would like to say a massive Happy Birthday to an Odyssey Engineer. This time it’s the turn of James Walters. James’ tank inspired cake looks absolutely fantastic, and I’m sure will taste equally as good.