IT Support

IT Support

  • Are you upgrading from Windows 7 to 10?

    As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, Windows 7 will stop being supported in January 2020.

    We have already helped many businesses upgrade from Windows 7. We help guide them to the best solution for their budget, replace outright, upgrade or a mixture. We then plan and handle all the headaches.

    We normally create a custom Windows 10 image, with all their LOB (line of business) applications pre-installed which is then very quick to deploy to multiple PCs at once. We can even empower them to deploy it themselves in the future.

    If you would like to talk about how we can help your business upgrade to window 10 please get in touch.

     

  • Business rename IT challenges

    When a business re-brands there are a lot more IT changes than you might think.

    We have helped numerous businesses through the IT challenges involved in a rename/re-brand. This is a good checklist to start with:

    • Website
    • Domain name
    • Content
    • Downloadables e.g. Brochures, reports, etc
    • Redirecting the old website to the new website
    • Email system
    • Domain name
    • Signatures
    • Aliases
    • Line of business software
    • Templates e.g. Word
    • Invoicing systems
    • Computer logins
    • Wifi

    If you’ve got any doubts about your IT provider don’t let them mess up on this or it could seriously affect your brand. Now is the time to consider the obvious alternative - telanova

  • If Sage or any PC application runs slow

    If Sage, or any other application, starts to run slowly you may not need to replace your computer just yet. Our accountant customers sometimes get this problem when they've loaded a lot of data into Sage, and Sage has to process it all. Although you can buy a new faster computer for £500, the total cost including new software licences, installation, configuration and data transfer works out much higher. What can you do to delay the purchase for another year or two?

  • New Year's resolutions: Sort IT out

    Many of our customers had new years resolutions In 2019 to improve their IT. Here are some of the projects we’re most proud of:

    1. For an accountant we replaced 3 servers and 15 PCs.
    2. For another accountant we moved their email to Office 365 and upgraded 50 PCs to Windows 10.
    3. For a school we moved their email to Office 365, replaced their single server and all 12 PCs.
    4. For a kitchen designer we moved their email to Office 365 and their files to OneDrive.
    5. For a parish council we replaced all 5 of their PCs.
    6. For a component distributor we simplified their virtual infrastructure.

    In each case we advised them about their current set up and how to improve it. We provided support before, during and after to keep things running smoothly, and staff productive and happy.

    Contact us if you have a New Year’s resolution to sort out your businesses IT in 2020

  • New Year’s resolutions for 2021: Sort IT out

    In 2020 we improved IT for many businesses. Here are some of the projects we’re most proud of:

    1. Supported our entire customer base’s shift to working from home
    2. Deployed SentinelOne next generation antivirus to all our customers
    3. For a private school we deployed a three-server remote desktop server farm
    4. For an accountant we replaced their entire server infrastructure
    5. Numerous laptop and PC fleet replacements

    Supported our entire customer base’s shift to working from home

    In February (seems a very long time ago now!) the prospect of mass work-from-home seemed likely. We helped our customers identify what the challenges would be and how they could prepare. For every customer we prepared our own plan, even if they weren’t ready to consider it at the time, so that we’d be ready to keep them working.

    Even with all that preparation we still had to manage a tidal wave! Our skilled engineers configured hundreds of VPNs and Remote Desktop connections so that our clients could work from home. And we advised on how they could make their work from home solutions secure.

    Deployed SentinelOne next generation antivirus to all our customers

    The increasing threats from malware, ransomware, viruses, phishing etc are major challenges for our customers. It is clear that traditional antivirus is no longer up to the task. Therefore we invested in SentinelOne, included it as standard in our support plans and have rolled it out to our customers. SentinelOne is a Next Generation Antivirus package, which we wrote about in our blog in July 2020. The following key features were pivotal in our decision making:
    • Uses AI to detect malicious behaviour, rather than relying on signatures
    • Can isolate an infected device from the network, preventing further infection
    • Ability to “roll back” a device to the state it was in before the malware struck

    For a private school we deployed a three-server remote desktop server farm

    To boost the School’s home working remote desktop capacity we needed to add three additional servers, but during the height of the first lockdown we wanted to be as safe as possible. We talked the on-site IT technician through installing the physical servers in the rack and starting them up. We were then able to connect remotely and complete the remote desktop server farm setup. They now have capacity for 150 staff to work from home at any time.

    For an accountant we replaced their entire server infrastructure

    This accountant’s three physical servers were 7 years old and although still performing ok, were well beyond their initially designed lifespan. We performed a comprehensive analysis comparing the costs and benefits of a cloud migration vs replacing the servers. Our customer chose to replace them rather than migrate fully to the cloud. Navigating the changing lockdown rules and supplier logistical issues gave us some headaches but we completed the project without any downtime during business hours.

    Numerous laptop and PC fleet replacements

    We have completed many laptop / PC fleet replacements during 2020 and have adapted our processes to keep our customers as safe as possible. Most have been completed by carrying out as much setup as possible in our office, re-shipping to the end-user, and talking through any remaining tasks over the phone.

    Contact us if you have a New Year’s resolution to sort out IT out in 2021

  • Still using Exchange 2010? It's time for action

    Two out of our top 10 customers are currently using on premise Exchange server 2010 for their email. One has about 50 employees whilst the other 100. Exchange 2010 is hitting end of life in January 2020. Microsoft will stop supporting it making it unsafe to use after that date.

    There are two realistic migration options for Exchange server 2010: either replace the server or move your email to the cloud. For businesses of this size, it doesn’t make sense to have an on-premise email server. Working with our customer we devised a plan and have started a migration to Office 365.

    Office 365 isn’t just cloud email it can also help make a business's entire IT better. It allows your employees to work anywhere and collaborate easily whilst providing you with the latest software and security. The subscription based model means it can easily scale with your business.

    If you would like to talk about how we can help your business migrate from Exchange server 2010 - please get in touch.

  • Tales from our helpdesk: Encrypted files

    Encrypting files is a really useful mechanism for protecting sensitive information. But there’s a risk that you might not be able to access the information in the future. Here’s a tale from our frontline support team.

  • Tales from our helpdesk: New client with system grinding issue

    We recently won a new client with a very serious issue. Every day, every hour on the hour for 15 minutes their whole system would come to a grinding halt. Employees couldn’t send emails, take calls or do their job! Basically, the employees were only able to work for 75% of the day. Their previous IT provider had given up trying to fix this issue.

    We ran extensive diagnostics and discovered their antivirus was causing their server to become non-responsive! Uninstalling the antivirus and re-installing the latest version rectified the issue allowing their employees to work 100% of the day.

    If you would like to talk to us about how we can help your business please get in touch.

  • What happens to your business if employees can't get into the office?

    Snow day Provisioning

    Though the concept of a white Christmas may bring joy to the hearts of children everywhere, it can chill a business to the bone!   As the holiday season rolls in, bringing with it harsh weather, terrible winds, the potential for flooding and of course, the chaos of hectic roads, we are once again reminded of the risk and potential loss of revenue for any business.   

  • What happens when nobody is in?

    We do 99% of our work remotely, connecting to the computer or server as though we were sitting in front of it. If a PC happens to be turned off or is unresponsive, we sometimes have to ask our customers to “switch it off and on again”.

    But for a server it might not be that simple. Maybe no one is present, such as during this current lockdown, or if it’s in a secured server room, or it may occur out of usual office hours such as over a weekend or during a bank holiday under more “normal” times.

    We could send an engineer on site - but there’s a better way: “out of band management” - and I don’t mean when Robbie left take that.

    Inside the server is another tiny server we can connect to. This allows us to diagnose why it was unresponsive and control the power switch.

    So that’s how we can reboot the server without the cost and delay of dispatching an engineer.

    Contact us if you want an IT support company that knows all the tricks.

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