telanova Blog

telanova: the outsourced IT team that feels like your own

Providing advice, consultancy, helpdesk, monitoring and maintenance, updates, upgrades, security: all the things your in-house team would do, but better and at a fraction of the cost and hassle.

Why get business class warranty?

Why do we recommend a business-class warranty that covers the expected life of IT hardware?

In the long run it’s cheaper.

When a computer, laptop or server breaks outside of warranty you’ll need to identify the faulty part and then source it. You may find that the manufacturer no longer has the part for sale. You might be able to source one from a 3rd party seller or resort to 2nd hand parts from ebay. You’ll then need to wait for delivery and get an engineer to replace it. This process can take weeks. Not to mention how much the business would suffer in lost time.

With a business-class warranty your server, workstation or laptop is fixed on site the same day or next. But beware of consumer class warranties! Typically with a consumer class warranty you’ll need to send your hardware away to be fixed, leaving you without a working system for a week or more.

Navigating the manufacturer's support process is difficult and time-consuming for a non-techie. We handle it much quicker as we speak their language.

Engage telanova as your IT team and we’ll make hardware recommendations that make sense for your business and manage it all for you.

Windows 11: will your printers etc work?

When planning an organization’s upgrade to Windows 11 you’ll need to assess whether peripherals are compatible and actually supported on Windows 11. From past experience we know manufacturers are often late supporting new operating systems. You won’t want to discover a device isn’t working only after an upgrade as it will impair the organisation’s operations. There may even be critical peripherals, e.g. printers, X-ray machines, or CAM systems that will bring your organization to a halt if they’re not operational.

Here is an outline of the process we go through with our customers during this phase:

Step 1 - ascertain which peripherals are supported, which aren’t supported now but will be in the future, and which will never be supported.

Step 2 - determine how critical each peripheral is to the organization

Step 3 - for any peripherals that will never be supported, or the date is too far in the future, calculate the cost to replace

If all the peripherals are supported, or the future supported date fits in with the plans, or the cost to replace is within the budget then we can move on to the next planning phase.

If not, there are a few options:

  1. Keep all computers on Windows 10
    • Pros: Consistent experience for all staff.
    • Cons: None of Windows 11’s benefits. Only viable until October 2025 when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 10. It will be difficult to get new computers with Windows 10 in the future.
  2. Operate in a mixed environment - Upgrade to Windows 11 on the computers that don’t use the unsupported peripherals, but keep computers that do use the unsupported peripherals on Windows 10.
    • Pros: Some staff get Windows 11’s benefits.
    • Cons: Inconsistent experience between different staff and computers. Only viable until October 2025 when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 10. It will be difficult to get new computers with Windows 10 in the future.
  3. Budget for, and replace unsupported peripherals, then upgrade to Windows 11.
    • Pros: Get Windows 11’s benefits. Consistent experience for all staff.
    • Cons: Potentially large capital expenditure.

What can you do if you can’t afford to replace unsupported critical peripherals before October 2025?

  1. Microsoft ends free support in October 2025. Previously it has been possible to pay Microsoft to carry on support, for Windows 7, it cost £70 per device for the first year, and doubled each year after. Microsoft have not yet published their plans and pricing for Windows 10 but it will likely be similar.
  2. Run Windows 10 unsupported and mitigate the security risks. One option would be to segregate it from the rest of the network and prevent it from accessing the internet e.g. using VLANs and/or firewall rules.

Telanova has been providing IT support for more than 25 years. We know the many challenges that organisations face when a major Operating System upgrade is rolled out having been through it with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 & 10 and we leverage that experience to make sure our customers have a smooth transition.

Talk to us about making sure your upgrade to Windows 11 goes smoothly.

Windows 11: let’s take a deeper dive. This week, Business applications.

Can you identify your critical business applications? They might be Payroll software from a company such as iRis or design software from Articad, they may even be something that is highly specific and niche to your industry, and as such, these apps could be even more important to your business than email!

Has the software producer tested it and assured you that it will run on Windows 11? If not, what are your alternatives?

  • Stay on Windows 10
  • Migrate to different Business apps
  • Retain some key Windows 10 machines specifically for those apps

The alternatives each have downsides

  • Support for Windows 10 will eventually expire
  • It may be very expensive or difficult to switch to new applications
  • Having even a single older machine on unsupported software is a potential attack vector

Talk to your contacts and ask them whether they know their Business apps are ready for Windows 11 and refer them to telanova who will guide them through the minefield of upgrading to Windows 11

Microsoft 365: Microsoft Bookings

Lots of people have Microsoft 365 but don’t know it includes Microsoft Bookings. It’s a web based system that makes it super easy for people to book appointments with your organisation. Whether it’s a sales enquiry, or to book a particular service you provide.

So, what’s special about it? Because it's part of Microsoft 365, it has access to everyone’s calendar in your organization and knows when they’re free or busy. It will then dynamically offer appointments based on whether someone with the right skills is available.

From a customer’s perspective it couldn't be any easier, pick the type of appointment and see immediately all the dates/times your organisation has someone available. Click one, fill in the contact details and it’s done! No back and forth email exchanges, or trying to get hold of someone on the phone. A calendar entry is automatically inserted into the correct staff member’s calendar and emails are sent out to everyone.

Since it’s web-based you can integrate it into your website, link to it in your email signature, and/or link to it via social media.

Not on Microsoft 365? We are experts at migrating from many different email systems, Rackspace, Google G Suite / Workspace etc. Contact us to migrate AND implement Microsoft Bookings for you!

Already on Microsoft 365? Contact us to implement Microsoft Bookings for you!

My NAS: Gone in 60 seconds

Gone in 60 seconds! Not a film but my NAS at home! Two terabytes of music and photographs. Recently a hacker was able to send a factory reset command out to owners of Western Digital network attached storage devices, and my home NAS was one of the affected. Despite having firewall protections in place they were able to use a zero-day exploit to reset thousands of devices worldwide. Fortunately, I keep multiple backups of my data, so it was an inconvenience rather than a tragedy.

Every day we hear about new malware or fresh ransomware attacks or newly-disclosed zero-day exploits (think PrintNightmare). And some of these attacks succeed even against targets that are highly defended such as government departments, police forces, public institutions and major corporations. Therefore part of any company's diligent planning should not only be about having the best defenses possible, but how to respond to, and recover from a successful attack.

For instance simply trying to clean up an infected Server or PC may take a very long time and it can be difficult to guarantee that it is really clean. Wiping and re-imaging is more reliable, and frequently faster.

Ensuring data is backed up offsite, away from the influence of encrypting ransomware will allow a business to restore their operations quickly in the event of a successful attack.

Engage telanova to devise and implement a backup and disaster recovery strategy for your organization.

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