Three times cheaper than the men with moustaches

An article I recently found on Telegraph.co.uk claims that 118 directory enquiries have gone up by 50% in price in the last year.

The article specifically mentions 118 118 (men with moustaches) and BT’s 118 500 number as being the worst culprits. A one minute call to either 118 118 or BT now costs a total of £1.68 and £1.65 respectively with BT charging a further £1.16 per minute after this.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that this is not the case at Simunix. A one minute call to our directory assistance number – 118 365 – always has and always will cost 50p per minute and that’s including the connection.

As one of my colleagues recently pointed out, “There are two things that have not changed price in the last ten years: a lottery ticket and our directory assistance number”.

According to the article a staggering “eight out of ten of all calls to a directory enquiry service are to these two numbers”. This means 80% of people using these services are paying three times the amount they should be. When there are so many other options out there, I find it hard to understand why so many people are still using these more expensive numbers.

However, since the introduction of deregulated directory assistance services in 2003, there has been a great deal of confusion surrounding cost, availability and effectiveness of the various 118 numbers now on offer. More and more consumers are now relying on the internet and sites such as ukphonebook.com to find the information they need. These online directory enquiries prove far more cost effective and often provide much more detailed information.

I know it sounds like I’ve been trying to do the big sell on our services but when the cost of trying to find a telephone number is reaching £1.68, I think it’s important to raise awareness of the other options out there.

‘On the go’ access to massive ukphonebook.com database

9 June 2010, York

The directory solutions provider, Simunix Ltd. has seen a surge in use of Mobile ukphonebook.com by police forces in recent months indicating an increased call for communications ‘on the move’.

In response to the increased usage, this year Simunix launched a corporate version of Mobile ukphonebook.com and has since provided every UK police force with access. The mobile optimised site gives users access to over 120 million records, which can be used to look up information on people, businesses, telephone numbers and addresses.

The address data can be accessed in real time making it possible for users to quickly find and identify their current surroundings.

Paul McAfee, Head of Business Development at Simunix says, “The beauty of this mobile service is that every member of an organisation is able to access all this information either at their work place or on the go; anywhere there is internet access including 2G mobile”.

The increased usage coincides with a new campaign to raise awareness of how Mobile Corporate ukphonebook.com can increase the efficiency with which organisations operate. The campaign details how officers operating mobile devices are able to access the data whilst out on the job. Simunix claim this will remove the need for them to call back to their switchboard or expensive 118 directory services for information, therefore saving time and money.

Simunix has been providing directory solutions since 1999 when it introduced ukphonebook.com as the UK’s first online directory enquiries service. Since then, the company has gone on to develop a number of directory services such as Corporate ukphonebook.com, TPS Manage and its own directory assistance telephone number, 118 365.

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Simunix unveils its ‘shop window’

19 May 2010, York

Simunix Ltd. – the York based directory services provider – has unveiled its new website.  The redesign was initiated by a survey taken of Simunix customers that revealed a massive 78% were unaware of the whole range of Simunix products available to them.

The idea behind the new design was to create a ‘shop window’ for all the products and services that make up the Simunix suite of directory solutions.  The new site exhibits a revamped user interface that aims to make navigation of the site simple, whilst displaying the range of services effectively.

James Bradley, the web developer behind the new website says, “After all the developments we have made to the Simunix range of services recently, we felt it was important to have a website that successfully demonstrated that we are a company at the cutting edge of the directory solutions industry.”

Products and services now have their own separate sections on the website to make it easier for the average site visitor to discern exactly which service best suits their needs.  The Products section lists all the brands developed by Simunix such as ukphonebook.com, TPS Manage, ZoneSearch etc.  The Services section lists the individual solutions Simunix can provide with links to the product best suited to these solutions.

A Bespoke Web Solutions page has also been developed for the new site.  This section details how directory solutions can be custom built to meet more specific requirements from individual organisations.

In reaction to the growing use of social networking by businesses, Simunix has also created a highly interactive press centre that includes Facebook and Twitter feeds, latest blog entries and a press release archive.

Laura Lewis, Marketing Manager at Simunix says, “We have really been pushing forward with our marketing activities.  Employees at Simunix are encouraged to set up their own Simunix Twitter pages so they can keep our customers up to date on the most recent developments.”

Laura continues, “The blog has also been a new addition to the Simunix marketing strategy and has so far proven to be a highly effective tool for interacting with our customers.”

Simunix plans to carry out further investigations to determine how customers are using the new website and if the redesign has effectively raised awareness of the range of Simunix directory solutions.

See what the new website looks like here www.simunix.com

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If you received a free 30 day trial email…

We recently sent out an email to all our registered users offering them a free 30 day trial of Corporate ukphonebook.com. This seems to have caused concern amongst our users of the public website that they will not be able to access the non-corporate version.

If you are just an individual user and do not need to use the service for business purposes, you are still able to access the public website at the usual address ( http://www.ukphonebook.com/ ). Here you have 5 free credits to use every day, plus the option to purchase more if needed.

If there are people who feel the corporate version would be appropriate for their needs, then please contact us to enquire further and we can set you up with a trial account.

Hope this clears up any confusion!

Welcome to our blog!

Hello. I’m Laura and I’m a member of the Simunix press and marketing team. I’ll be keeping you up to date with all the goings on at Simunix – our latest developments, upcoming events and general office life.

The unveiling of the new and improved Simunix website has brought with it a resounding sigh of relief around the Simunix offices. However, after weeks of planning and hard work (plus a few creative differences!) I’m pleased to report that we are all extremely happy with the finished product.

Our hope is that visitors to the new website can use it as a sort of ‘shop window’ for viewing all our different products and services. It has been designed to make choosing the product best suited to your needs as easy as possible.

So hopefully you’ll all be as pleased with it as we are. Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts and ideas or if there’s anything you would like to see on the site that isn’t already there.

ZoneSearch: where would you be without it?

18 March 2010

ZoneSearch is the innovative new mapping and information system to come out of York-based data supplier, Simunix.  The service promises to improve the efficiency with which response and recovery units initiate their operations.

The unique mapping interface of ZoneSearch makes it possible to identify target areas with the click of a button.  There are three ways in which the user can perform a search, each of which provides the highest level of precision possible.

By selecting the Polygon Search function, the user can draw a polygon of any shape or size around the required search area.  This can include non-addressable locations such as railway lines, fields and riverbanks.  The Radius Search involves simply clicking on the map and setting the size of the radius.

Once the search area is set, the user selects the information they wish to search for.  This includes people, businesses and points of interest.  Results are then displayed in a table that can be downloaded as a .CSV file.

Finally, the Map Search presents telephone, address and resident information in a small box as the user hovers their cursor over individual properties on the map.  Again, the user can select individual records that can be saved and downloaded.

Simunix has been working closely with Ordnance Survey during the development of ZoneSearch. This has had the effect of keeping costs down for many organisations as the service utilises data that is already available to them under the Mapping Services Agreement.

Apart from the increased precision with which searches can be performed and the cost saving element, ZoneSearch has displayed a number of additional benefits.  There are up to 40,000 revisions made to the information every 24 hours, meaning there is no data source that is more up to date.  ZoneSearch has also proven to be a highly effective time saving solution for a number of organisations.

Paul McAfee, Head of Business Development at Simunix, says, “One of our clients spent 4 hours trying to identify people and businesses in a semi-rural area after unexploded ordnance had been discovered in a field – it took ZoneSearch 4 minutes and found 10% more unique records”.

Zone Search is the key to ensuring that organisations are compliant with the required levels of good communication necessary for effective response and recovery at a time of crisis.

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i-phonebook: ‘Martini Media’ – any time, any place, anywhere

29 January 2009

ukphonebook.com has launched i-phonebook, the UK’s first comprehensive online telephone directory specifically designed for mobile phones, and including full residential and business listings.

The number of mobile phones used for web access in the UK reached 7.3 million in 2008. In response to this, ukphonebook.com decided to develop a version of their site that was geared towards the mobile user.

“People accessing the Internet from their phones generally have less time to browse around,” says John Lewis, Managing Director of Simunix Ltd., the company behind ukphonebook.com and other directory services, “therefore, we realised the need for a version of our service that had a mobile friendly interface; one that allowed quick and easy navigation around the site. ”

i-phonebook is compatible with all mobile phones with browsing capabilities but has also managed to maintain its key features within the limited screen space. As well as performing telephone and address searches, users are still able to search the electoral roll and share their results via email or text. They can also call someone directly from the browser by selecting the number on the search results page.

The development of this mobile optimised version of ukphonebook.com provides easy access to all these services without the need of a PC.

John Lewis continued, “The aim of i-phonebook is to make our service accessible on a mobile, but in a format that is easier to navigate than a normal web-based directory. It was important to us, that we maintain the same quality of content that you would expect from ukphonebook.com.”

With an increasing number of websites being optimised for mobile devices, i-phonebook represents an extension of the online telephone directory provider that demonstrates its ability to evolve with the developing new media.

To use the service, go to www.iphonebook.co.uk

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ukphonebook.com celebrates 2 million and counting

03 November 2008

Online telephone directory provider www.ukphonebook.com is celebrating its 2 millionth registrant by launching a brand new look to the service.

The revamped look is just one aspect of the ongoing expansion of the website operated by York based Simunix Ltd. Previously more focused on corporate customers, ukphonebook.com is the directory of choice for businesses and public service organisations throughout the UK.

“Our public website was mostly seen as a corporate sales tool telling us which businesses had the need for this kind of service,” says John Lewis, Managing Director, Simunix. “But with the price of 118 calls now exceeding £1 per call in most cases, more people are using the Internet and we’ve seen a huge surge in registrations. I felt we should deliver a free service to consumers that gave a genuine, usable alternative to 118.”

Established in 1998, Simunix was the first non-telecom company to license the UK directory database from the data aggregator as part of the then named Oftel’s telecoms deregulation process. The core data providing the telephone listings of around 25 million UK residents and 3 million UK businesses and government records, is derived from data input by all of the UK’s telecom operators.

John Lewis continued: “We gained a huge amount of information from our corporate customers’ usage which enabled us to hone the search process to deliver results in an intelligent and meaningful way. The United Kingdom has a highly inconsistent addressing system and it has been a ten year software refinement process that makes us the most intuitive search engine for this kind of information.”

The service is free to most casual users just wanting the odd telephone number, but it also includes access to Royal Mail’s Postal Address Finder data and the edited Electoral Rolls for a small fee. Free access to Google’s online mapping and satellite imagery linked to results is also provided.

To use the service, go to www.ukphonebook.com and complete the simple registration page. A verification email will be sent to you and from then on you will be given a daily number of free searches.

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