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.

How secure is your business’s home working setup?

The last couple of months has seen a rush, if not a stampede to work from home, following the guidelines and reducing the impact of COVID-19. However this needs to be done in a safe manner that does not not expose your business to increased security risks. It is important to remain compliant with legislation such as GDPR and PCI whatever the circumstances.

Some points to consider when allowing staff to work remotely

  • Secure their logons
    Implement Multi Factor Authentication (MFA or 2FA). A strong password on it’s own isn’t enough. Multi factor involves an extra security step, such as an SMS or app on a phone, or biometric method such as fingerprint or facial recognition.
  • Encrypt their connection
    When users connect to your office, deploy an encrypted VPN connection. This ensures the connection between their computer and your servers is secure and the data transferred cannot be intercepted. When using cloud services make sure they use secure HTTPS connections.
  • Manage their devices
    Deploy Mobile Device Management (MDM). An MDM system will allow you to monitor, manage and secure laptops, smartphones and similar devices. If a device is lost or stolen it can be locked or wiped remotely.
  • Protect their devices
    Have a firewall that is enabled and configured correctly on the device, and use Antimalware Software that is updated and monitored.
  • Secure your business data
    Encrypt hard drives and USB drives with a technology such as Bitlocker, arrange for data to be securely backed up, and have your staff aware that they should only save data in secure locations for compliance with relevant legislation such as GDPR and PCI.

This is where telanova can help, we have enabled our customers to work remotely and safely by implementing best practices and secure technologies appropriate to their needs. Would you like us to secure your home working setup? Contact us now.

Microsoft Teams or Zoom or Google Meet?

Microsoft Teams or Zoom or Google Meet or Skype

Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet are three of the leading video conferencing solutions. But what is the difference, which one should you use and what about the others?

Microsoft Teams

Teams is the new communication and collaborative working tool that is part of the Office 365 family. It has instant chat, meetings, video calls, voice calls as well as screen and file sharing. They are adding new features all the time and there are already plugins to many Microsoft and third party services. It replaces Skype for business, which will be removed from the Microsoft offering soon (and had nothing to do with Skype).

We are making effective use of teams whilst working from home to keep in contact with each other, have meetings and share information. It is a great tool for inter-business communications.

But it is also good for communicating with contacts outside your business too. You can invite a non-team contact to an online meeting and they can join via a web link - without the need for teams to be installed or even a teams account.

If your email system is on Office 365 chances are you already have teams and you should try it.


Has rocketed in popularity during the the current lockdown (Even my children use it to keep in contact with their classmates) Currently, there is a basic free subscription and higher levels with more features, which are summarized here It is easy to use and some nice features. Such as break-out rooms so you can have a smaller, more private sub-meeting. There are add-ons to expand its functionality beyond just video conferencing.

Google Meet

Google meet is the video conferencing solution built into G suite. It has a host of teleconferencing features and it integrates with the rest of the google family of products. You can display any google docs and collaborative work on them in the meeting. You can schedule meetings and invite others who do not have a google account to join.

If your email is on the g-suite platform this is definitely one to try.

What about the others?

Google hangouts

You can use this with a free gmail account, it is a cut down version of google meet (see above).


Skype one of the largest communication platforms it allows you to communicate via voice, video or chat with other Skype users. It’s been around since 2003 is now owned by Microsoft, who merged their MSN messenger into the platform. Its features are aimed at consumers rather than business but there is a Skype meeting functionality where participants do not need a Skype account, but a lot of people have Skype accounts. It might be a good option if you primarily need business to consumer communications.

Apple Facetime

This is an apple-apple video calling tool - All participants have to have an Apple device, really a consumer tool - but could have business to consumer uses.

Google Duo

This is Google’s answer to Facetime (video calling tool) - All participants have to have Google accounts. It is really a consumer tool - but could have business to consumer uses.

Which one to use?

If none of the unique features have stood out to you and you are not sure where to start:

If you already have Office 365 - try Microsoft Teams

If you’re on the G suite platform - try Google Meet.

If your email system is not on either - and want online meetings with lots of participants give zoom a try. (also contact us to discuss upgrading your email system!)

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.

Are you worried about a disaster affecting your business?

There are many types of disasters that can affect a business: fires, floods or even a global pandemic, there are two disaster strategy approaches:

  1. Wait for a disaster to hit and then deal with it
  2. OR
  3. Plan for different disasters, mitigate against the effects in advance, test your plan and execute it when one hits

One of the services we carry out for our clients is moving them from the first category, to the second, by designing and testing a disaster recovery strategy.

For a particular client, they needed a strategy that would get their IT systems restored within 24 hours even if everything was lost in a fire.

We drafted and implemented a strategy based around Cloud Hyper-V image backups to Microsoft Azure. Then verified it by restoring everything to temporary servers in Microsoft Azure. We timed the process from the first mouse click to the point staff could login remotely. Roughly 17 hours, well within their requirements. The restored system was then tested by several staff members to confirm all data was present and they had everything they needed to carry out their duties.

Do you want to be better prepared?

Are you an ambitious startup?

At telanova we enable businesses to achieve their ambitions by improving their IT, managing it properly and supporting the team.

We’ve guided many of our customers through the IT challenges that come with increasing employees, opening multiple offices and correcting the mistakes made by previous IT companies.

If you're an ambitious start up looking to grow 5 employees or more by the end of 2020 contact us.

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