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.

     

  • Benefit 1 of 8: general IT advice

    Benefit 1 of 8: general IT advice. A recent example was when a customer asked us: “a client wants to connect with me over Slack. What is Slack? I have never heard of it, is it safe?”

    We explained that Slack was a messaging and team collaboration tool, similar to Microsoft Teams, but a bit easier to use across multiple different companies. The usual caveats about only sharing with people you trust still apply.

    Another customer wanted advice before purchasing a new laptop for a member of staff. They travelled extensively and therefore a very small and light laptop was the most important factor and outweighed the lower productivity from a small screen, performance, and battery life etc. We identified the best performing laptop within their budget, configured for the end user and delivered it.

    Another example of the advice we give is preparing IT budgets. How to maximise the return on investment, e.g. which devices need urgently replacing, which can be deferred etc.

    Wouldn’t you like an outsourced IT company that feels like your own? Contact us today!

  • Benefit 2 of 8: access to our help desk

    Benefit 2 of 8: access to our help desk based in Bracknell. Our helpdesk is staffed with real engineers, not robots reading from a script. Our customers’ staff can call our helpdesk for any IT difficulty.

    Whether it's something simple like “How do I set an out of office?” or major like “I’ve accidentally deleted everything”, we connect remotely to their computer and help them sort it; and if possible we’ll teach them how to do it themselves in the future. You’ll be on first name terms with our engineers and feel like our helpdesk is part of your own team.

    Wouldn’t you like an outsourced IT company that feels like your own? Contact us today!

  • Benefit 3 of 8: IT consultancy that’s real-world advice, not corporate buzzwords.

    Benefit 3 of 8: Telanova provides IT consultancy that’s real-world advice, not corporate buzzwords.

    We don’t waste time talking about synergy, blue skies, moving the needle or disruptive paradigm shifts. We speak the customer’s language, we design a solution and we implement it.

    A customer asked us to speed up their business. Every time they got an order it was taking them ages to process. We identified multiple factors that we could target:

    • Their database was running on mechanical disks, not solid-state, which was impacting overall performance. We upgraded all servers to solid-state disks which gave everything a boost.
    • We optimised the way their virtual servers used the underlying hardware - high performance where it was needed.
    • Their SAP business software was opening a folder with 400,000 files in it. This is slow on any computer as the operating system tries to list all the files. Although nothing could be done about this folder, we stopped SAP users from opening it by default, resulting in improved performance

    This resulted in a happy customer!.

    We speak to the people using IT to find out what would make the most difference, as well as looking at the bigger picture.

    The next time you hear someone befuddled by corporate IT speak, you know what to do: arrange for us to call them!

  • Benefit 4 of 8: Monitoring IT equipment 24/7

    Benefit 4 of 8: Monitoring IT equipment 24/7. Monitoring tells us when something is wrong, or about to go wrong, so that we proactively fix lurking issues before they become major business problems. We tailor the precise monitoring checks to each customers’ environment. Some common ones are:

    Backups

    Was the backup successful? When you need to restore from backup you don’t want to find out they’ve been failing for months.

    Physical Hard drive status

    There are warning signs leading up to most hard drive failures. Replacing a drive before it fails completely results in less downtime and data loss. Servers usually have RAID to keep running even with a single disk failure, but if no one’s monitoring it, you won’t know to replace the failed disk before the next one fails.

    Disk space

    Running out leads to database errors, file system errors etc which are time consuming and problematic to resolve.

    Anti-malware status

    Is it running? Up to date? Scanned recently? Infected? A single infected device can lead to the whole organization being held to ransom.

    Windows update and other patches

    Are all recent updates installed? Have any failed? A single unpatched device can lead to the whole organization being held to ransom.

    Hard drive encryption status

    The GDPR is quite clear that laptop hard drives must be encrypted. If an unencrypted laptop is lost or stolen it could lead to data breach resulting in a fine.

    Number of failed logins

    Is a hacker attempting to brute force access the device? This could be a sign that something else on the network is compromised.

    Windows services

    Are critical services running? Such as for your line of business applications. No one wants to arrive in the morning to find out their critical application isn’t working.

    You can’t rely on a staff member reporting these issues as they rarely do in a timely manner. The business then risks downtime, ransomware, GDPR breaches and fines.

    Engage telanova as your IT team and we will monitor your IT equipment 24/7, minimizing your downtime, and increasing your profitability.

  • Benefit 5 of 8: IT maintenance

    To keep your car running smoothly, you go to a reputable mechanic and get your car serviced. Well your IT systems need maintenance too.

    Some of the ways in which we maintain our customers’ IT systems are

    Patches and Updates

    Although Microsoft Windows has a built-in update feature it doesn’t update all the software on a computer. Unpatched programs like the popular Adobe Reader can become the unlocked door for malicious actors to compromise a computer. Our remote management and monitoring software will automatically deploy patches as they become available to keep our customers’ computers updated.

    Setting up new starters

    When creating a new account it is important to give the user the correct permissions. If they are copied from an existing user it is possible that they may get access to data they shouldn’t have - you don’t want to give a probationer the keys to the kingdom! Start with the basic permissions and then add others as the person becomes more experienced, trained and trusted.

    Closing down leavers’ accounts

    This needs to be done promptly for security reasons. For instance, if the person has left under a cloud and their account is still accessible, they may be tempted to do something spiteful such as delete, corrupt or ransom data. As soon as we are given the date and time that a person’s employment is terminated, we reset the password to a complex randomly-generated one, and disable the account from signing in. Then after an interval determined by the needs of the customer, the account will be deleted. In many situations removing an account deletes all the data - mailboxes and files owned by that account, but for compliance situations, data may need to be retained for a number of years, so we work with our customers to ensure that data is retained when appropriate to do so, using either a data vault system or by transferring ownership to another member of staff.

    Replacing parts

    Parts wear out or get damaged. It’s a fact of life. Where a device is still under warranty we work with the vendor to get them replaced, saving the customer the hassle of dealing with the process. If the device isn’t under warranty or the damage has voided the warranty, it may be cheaper for one of our technicians to replace the component. Memory and Storage, screens, motherboards, laptop keyboards, trackpads and batteries, we have replaced all these.

    It is not just laptops that have batteries! All computers have a small battery on board. This battery helps the computer keep the basic settings it uses when booting up the PC. These can fail, especially if the PC has been in service for longer than recommended. Our technicians replace the battery and give the PC a new lease of life.

    Servers are normally attached to an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) so that in the event of a power cut the server can be closed down gracefully and avoid any data loss. These batteries should be replaced every three years or so. We monitor the health of the batteries in our customers' UPS systems and replace them before they fail.

    Cleaning out cruft

    Cruft is all the old junk files that build up in the background and fill up your hard drive. Hard drives seem to fill up quickly and this is a result of Microsoft Windows making backups of files before it applies updates, creating log files, and various system reports from those infamous “Blue Screens of Death”. We monitor the available space on our customers' computers and proactively clear out this cruft before it starts to impact performance.

    Telanova maintain systems *every day*, not just once a year.

  • Benefit 6 of 8: IT Security

    One of our clients inadvertently clicked on a dodgy link - it didn’t seem to do anything and they got on with their day. However, it was designed to silently execute malware, undetected by regular anti-virus and maliciously encrypt the files on the entire system. Then issue a ransom demand.

    However, our next-generation security monitoring alerted us to suspicious activity. We remotely isolated the computer from the network. We checked that this wasn’t a false positive. We rolled back the computer to a state before the incident completely removing the threat.

    You can read our full blog on the advantages of next-gen antivirus here. But in summary, instead of relying on someone experiencing a virus or attack before - it monitors the behaviour of programs running on your device and takes action on anything suspicious. Not only will it flag the issue, but also quarantine and isolate the device from the network to stop the issue from spreading. It offers a roll-back function, to restore the device from a time before infection.

    Anti-virus is only part of the security jigsaw - other security services we provide:

    • Managed and monitored device encryption - if a device is stolen you can be confident the data on it can not be accessed.
    • Managed and monitored authentication - we make sure passwords are strong, two- factor authentication is implemented and detect brute force password attacks.
    • Managed and monitored firewalls and network infrastructure - The devices we install are configured with security in mind - if you want a secure VPN into the office - we make sure this is implemented in the most secure way possible.
    • Managed and monitored patch management - the latest security updates will protect you from “zero-day” vulnerability that will allow hackers into your systems.

    telanova manages and monitors our clients’ security and take prompt action when there is a potential issue. Many other IT providers do not.

    Contact us to make sure your IT security is up to scratch

  • Benefit 7 of 8: Designing, implementing and supporting new IT

    Benefit 7 of 8: We are experts at designing, implementing and supporting new IT systems. Some examples are:

    IT for startups

    A local startup had only 8 employees but had big growth plans for the future and needed their IT to keep up. We set up Google Workspace as their platform for email, document storage and collaboration. We trained them how to use it properly to its full potential and supported them in its use. We have solved many other IT challenges for them, such as specifying the right laptops to meet the needs of each staff member, scaling their office network, and implementing a VOIP phone system. 4 years later and they’ve grown to 50+ employees.

    New branch offices

    A kitchen designer wanted to expand into a new area by opening a showroom in a nearby town. They needed a secure link to their line of business application in their HQ, and also fast shared storage for CAD work as they would have in-house designers on site. We designed the new showroom network, expanded capacity on their back office HQ based servers, spec’d suitable PCs for their designers and other staff members and implemented the whole thing.

    Document management systems

    An accountant wanted to add a document management system as they were wasting too much time cataloging, storing, tracking and archiving important documents. After evaluating several different solutions they picked Virtual Cabinet. We analysed their budget, performance and estimated growth needs and specified an appropriate server. We installed the server, liaised with Virtual Cabinet to install the software, and rolled out the client software to all their devices.

    Secure Wi-Fi for visitors

    A parish council wanted to add secure guest WiFi for one of their halls. They especially wanted guests to agree to terms and conditions before being able to access the internet. We installed and configured a Unifi controller and access points at the hall. Guests connect to a special network which cannot access the internal parish council network and must also click an agree button before gaining access to the internet.

    Cloud platforms

    A school had purchased a new cloud SaaS application to manage some back office functions. Rather than having another set of usernames and passwords for this new SaaS app, we configured it to connect to their existing Microsoft 365 service for authentication.

    Work from home solutions

    We have implemented remote access solutions for every budget. From the low end - secure VPN and remote desktop to a PC in the office. To the high end - Remote desktop server farm with Duo multi factor authentication.

    End-user devices like PCs, laptops etc

    While everyone loves the speed of a brand new device, the downtime while swapping over is frustrating. That’s why our main aim when deploying new end-user devices is to make that downtime as small as possible. We accomplish in a few different ways

    1. Doing as much setup as possible in our own offices before visiting the customer’s site
    2. Setting up our customer’s systems in a way that facilitates easy transfer
    3. Leveraging automation tools wherever possible e.g. Autopilot, Intune, Group policies etc

    What are your plans for the business next year? We'll solve your IT challenges.

  • Benefit 8 of 8: Improving IT

    Benefit 8 of 8: Improving IT

    At telanova we don’t just accept the status quo - we look for ways to improve IT for our customers, with benefits such as:

    • Speed - streamline processes, eliminate bottlenecks. Customers get more work done in the same amount of time.
    • Reliability - Identify and remove the causes of downtime - Customers spend less time unable to work.
    • Security - reduce risk of data breaches, ransomware attacks etc. As well as systems to get organisations working again if cyber criminals strike.
    • Reduce costs
      • moving to the cloud, replacing servers that have high ongoing costs,
      • ensuring customers don’t buy more than they need.

    Contact us to find out the great ways telanova will improve your business.

  • 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.

We use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience in your interactions on our website

You agree to our use of cookies on your device by continuing to use our website

I understand