Category Archives: Network Solutions

Managed Services can help your business grow

Managed services is an area of IT provision that is set for huge growth, with the Americans expecting spending to increase from 27% in 2011 to 40% in 2015.  The UK is rapidly following suit, and we have been at the forefront of this growth with our own range of managed services.

Managed Services can include anything from a complete cloud computing infrastructure like our own Cloudmetix or a fully managed internal IT system to a simple managed anti-virus service. Our wide range of managed services includes Cloudmetix, WAN solutions, anti-virus, anti-spam, back-up, replication, audit and IP telephony. 

In our experience helping companies across the Midlands with their IT issues, we have found managed services contribute to the growth of a business as well as taking the pressure off day-to-day business itself. We have seen companies able to divert attention away from managing their own IT development projects and focus on their core business development. Additional bonuses of an IT overhaul include the company using less power and reducing their IT carbon footprint.

 

What managed services are on offer?

Cloud computing

Cloudmetix enables you to have access to your full IT systems from anywhere,  provided you have an internet connection. It allows access to all your files and documents, your business software and email accounts. The whole system is updated and maintained by a professional IT team, so all you have to worry about is the actual business. It brings together all members of your team, including any remote workers and branches from different locations.

Anti-virus

A fully managed anti-virus solution will mean that the selection, testing, planning, deployment, updating and reporting of the software will be taken off your shoulders. The Netmetix anti-virus managed services package will also cost no more than what you would pay for a basic unmanaged software product. It provides the  skilled IT resources, domain expertise, centralised monitoring and management facilities and proactive approach to ensuring the protection of your servers, desktops and laptops against the ever present threat of viruses, spam and malware attacks.

 

Anti-spam

A Managed Anti-spam service will prevent all unwanted email, spam and virus’s from ever reaching your network. How is it different to junk e-mail?  It means you don’t have to filter through checking for legitimate emails, giving your business back productivity time. It will give your business the continual protection needed to stay on top of this ever present and evolving threat.

Back-up

With all the IT threats present in this technological age, a managed back-up will create a safe, reliable infrastructure, which will help you recover from a disruption before downtime negatively affects business operations or customer relations. It means that all files are automatically backed up as frequently as every 15 minutes if needed.  

Replication

A managed replication service is a step in a disaster recovery plan. It ensures that a continuous replication of the business data is stored off-site within a secure Network Operation Centre, so if the worse ever did happen, then the business could be quickly be back up and running.

Audit

A managed audit protects customer and business data from increasing security threats and tougher compliance requirements in regulated industries. It will give a comprehensive way to regularly assess and report on possible vulnerability, configuration and compliance related issues on the network.

IP Telephony

This is a way to unify communications and ensure that you are communicating effectively with suppliers, customers and colleagues. It is an all-in-one networking and communications solution that will mean your business can collaborate and problem-solve more effectively. IP telephony also allows a greater degree of flexibility by bringing remote workers and locations into a single telephone system with free inter-location calls. IP routed telephony can also significantly reduce your monthly telephone bills.

 

Take the first step in relieving your business IT headache by employing a Managed Services Solution suitable for your business. Call one of our friendly advisors on 024 7640 8100 to experience the relief yourself.

Simplifying Cloud terminology

…What does it all mean?

 

A recent statistic released by global researchers TNS, states that 93% of businesses see an improvement in their IT since adopting cloud…

…It is all very well being told how cloud computing can consequently benefit your business, but at Netmetix we understand that all the techie language of the different processes can be very daunting.

We have all experienced the situation of undergoing a technological process without fully understanding all the jargon on our screens, so I have put together a list of some of the common terms you will come across when adopting a cloud platform for your business, explaining them all in an accessible format:

 

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS is a way of using expensive hardware without buying it outright. In order to run and control business applications you would require the usage of servers, software, data-centre space or network equipment – which can all end up being a huge cost. IaaS is a way of outsourcing it all as a full service from a company like us. This also means that your business will be free from maintenance costs and wasted office space.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

Software as a Service means that all your business’s software and its data are hosted centrally. This eradicates the need to install and run the application on the companies own computers and also places the responsibility of maintenance and support into the provider’s hands.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

Similar to both Software and Infrastructure, receiving a platform as a service means that the operating system and associated services are also delivered over the Internet by a provider. It is a cost effective solution eliminating the complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. The PaaS lies between the IaaS layer and the SaaS layer.

Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop is a means of delivering a familiar Windows Desktop to users from a remote location e.g. a data centre. When using Remote Desktop technology, files, data and applications stay at the data centre and only the “image” of the Desktop is sent to the user’s screen. That way, only the keyboard and mouse inputs and pixel screen changes are sent over the Internet connection. This massively reduces the amount of Internet bandwidth required over conventional file transfer methods. It also means that the security of your valuable data isn’t compromised over the Internet because it never leaves the data centre.

On-demand self service

This means that the user can individually utilise all the computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider.

Resource pooling

The provider’s computing resources are shared to serve multiple customers to take advantage of the varying demands over time of different customers.. This provides the user with rapid access to additional resources by demand.

Rapid elasticity

This refers to the scalability of cloud computing. It means that capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned and in some cases automatically. At Netmetix we can scale your Cloud solution up or down quickly depending on your demand.

Measured service

With cloud computing the resource usage can be monitored, controlled and reported providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the service. This means that you business will only pay for the resources you use. It enables your IT costs to match your business success.

Service Provider Licence Agreement (SPLA)

This is a means of providing customers with licenced software without them having to purchase a full software licence. This typically allows customers to effectively rent the use of the software for a specified period, usually monthly. It also means that they only have to pay for what they actually need as the number of licences rented can be increased or decreased from month to month.

Cloudmetix is one of the leading cloud technologies in Coventry. Alongside this Netmetix is ranked Number 1 on the Microsoft Partner Pinpoint website.

If you are looking at moving to cloud computing why not try it first.  With Cloudmetix you can have a 30 day trial period with no obligation.  

Simply call us today on: 02476 408100

Netmetix is No.1 Microsoft partner in UK

We are proud to announce that Netmetix is currently ranked Number 1 Gold Server Partner on the Microsoft Pinpoint website. Click Here To View

Netmetix ranked Number 1Not only are we ranked Number 1 within 200 miles of Coventry, but no other partner ranks higher than Netmetix anywhere in the UK at this point in time.

In October we announced our accreditation for becoming Coventry’s first Microsoft Partner with a Gold Server Platform accreditation, which set us apart as one of the best IT solutions providers in the region.

We’ve worked very hard to attain the accreditation, with four of our experienced technical engineers completing a rigorous examination to attain the Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Enterprise Administrator qualification.

Being a Microsoft Gold Partner means we have the technical ability and expertise to work closely with our customers and help them to streamline their operational processes so that they can focus on achieving sustainable business growth rather than on their IT systems.

It’s all about service

Cloudmetix workshop reassures Coventry of Cloud security

Our workshop on cloud computing yesterday proved successful, and we received some interesting feedback that we’d like to share!

We had a range of companies attend, varying from legal services to graphic design, all of whom can reap the benefits of a cloud computing system within their businesses.

As an IT solutions provider, we aim to create awareness of how cloud computing can benefit businesses throughout our region at a time when Government austerity measures are taking their toll on SMEs like the ones in Coventry.

Finance and legal are two sectors which are rapidly adopting cloud systems for more efficient processes; however they face a number of issues concerning data protection when using offshore cloud services. We approached this issue at the workshop by presenting images of our secure dual-data centres, which are based in the Midlands and not in some offshore location.

We were really pleased to see such a positive reaction from local businesses about the buzz of cloud computing. As IT professionals, we are always on the lookout for innovative processes that can help other businesses in our area. We have a strong vision for the future of cloud computing especially as as industry research has shown that it is being adopted five times faster than traditional IT. We want to be able to bring SMEs in Coventry forward in terms of this technological revolution.

  • 100% of feedback respondents at the workshop had faith in the security of a cloud system following our presentation.
  • The following chart shows the respondants opinion on cloud’s main benefits:Cloudmetix

 

 

Q&A session:

Q: Is there a data limit?

A: The storage space available is unlimited. A specified capacity is included as standard, but additional capacity will be automatically added as required for a minimal additional cost..

Q: We are a design agency and operate from Apple and Microsoft. Can you use the cloud on both systems?

A: It is possible to access your cloud platform from a PC or a MAC. One of our existing clients has both systems in their office and it operates exactly the same from both platforms.

Q: What happens to our business if a similar scenario were to happen as with Blackberry earlier this month?

A: Whilst in the development stages we considered every single scenario that could happen. We have dual-data centres which mean if something happened to one, then the other would still be fine. The datacentre is protected by 24/7 perimeter security and CCTV with scheduled authorised access only with a photo-ID.

Q: What would you say is the biggest downside?

A: We don’t believe there is one. If we didn’t have complete faith in the cloud system then we would not have invested so heavily into developing our own package. Our traditional IT business is growing and successful, but we see this as the future for business IT systems, therefore have optimised it to our full capability.

Come to our Cloud Computing workshop!

Although cloud computing is one of the hottest subjects in the IT world, it is not unknown for small businesses to be completely unaware of its existence, let alone thebenefits.

If you were to type the term ‘cloud computing’ into your search engine, you will discover an endless ocean of articles/blogs/stories around the subject, which can be intimidating at first glance.

At Netmetix we aim to teach businesses around Coventry and Warwickshire how cloud computing can directly benefit them in an accessible and easy-to-understand format.

If you should wish to learn about it first hand and what it could potentially do for your business then you can come along to our workshop next week in Coventry.

Details:

What? Social Media and Cloud Computing – Breakfast Briefing. The first session will look at alternatives to traditional IT methods; how IT is changing the way we work in a competitive market place, what is social media – understanding what to use and why, reaching the correct users and measuring the effectiveness. The second session focuses on Social Media Policies – what is recommended within your business.

When? Wednesday 23rd November 2011, 8:00am – 9.30am

Where? Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Conference Centre, Coventry Rugby Club

Cost? FREE

How?      BOOK HERE

How Cloud can make your business green

The Guardian recently reported that cloud computing can reduce your carbon emissions by 50% and other recent statistics have shown that it can save small businesses energy cost by around 90%… they are pretty staggering figures right?

At a time when energy costs are soaring through the roof, the prospect of reducing these costs whilst also having a more positive effect on the environment is enticing for business owners. Being classed as a ‘green business’ is currently a popular trend, with many big names competing to get on the Sunday Times’ Top Green Companies list.

A report called the Carbon Disclosure Project calculated that large UK companies could achieve annual energy savings of £1.2 billion if they move to cloud computing. This just highlights the significant savings that can be made when making the switch to a more efficient system.

The report which was conducted by independent firm Verdantix and sponsored by AT&T said that large companies plan to accelerate their adoption of cloud computing from 10% to 69% of their IT spending by 2020.  

The savings predominantly come from the virtual servers of a cloud system which are in place of the old physical servers linked to a custom IT system. One of the key benefits is that the customer can precisely refine what IT they require, meaning they will produce less waste and redundant capacity. The servers are more fully utilised so they are running at their optimum more frequently and are therefore more efficient that most in-house servers.

The simplicity of the equation is that cloud computing means you use less energy, which means you create less CO₂, which makes your business greener.

Cloud    =    less energy    =    less CO    =    GREEN BUSINESS

As well as the green savings in terms of both energy and cost, cloud computing also makes sense when it comes to savings on capital outlay on equipment, software and IT upgrades.

Find out how Cloudmetix can help your business save money.  Contact us today for a demonstration, or visit www.cloudmetix.net to start your free 30-day no obligation trial.

 

Top 10 Cloud Computing Statistics

With cloud computing increasing in popularity we thought we would share some of the key statistics into why industry experts think it is the way forward for your business.

  1. Last year the snow caused staff shortages for 73% of companies and of these only 39% had the ability to work remotely. Cloud computing is renowned for its ability to allow employees to access the business from any location in the world. This combats any weather related issues that could hinder business at any point in the year, providing there is an internet connection.
  2. The cloud computing market is expected to rise from $40.7 billion to $241 billion by 2020. Depending on these figures, cloud computing could save 85 million tons in annual net CO₂ savings by the same year which shows the green effect it will have on the world.
  3. According to IBM’s Chief Technology Officer, cloud computing reduces IT labour costs by 50%. When a cloud system is implemented into a business, the majority of the IT responsibility is shifted across to the providers. Therefore all software updates and technical issues no longer have to be addressed individually.
  4. Cloud computing can save small business energy costs by 90%. This is an increasingly popular incentive for businesses to adopt a cloud system.  Not only does it reduce your company’s carbon footprint, but you can also increase your CSR credentials. It’s a win/win all round.
  5. 82% of small businesses say it’s important to buy cloud computing from a company with local reach. At Netmetix we offer the chance for businesses to visit our data centre site for their own piece of mind. We find that customers are generally happier when they know their cloud provider is local. It adds the “human” element rather than dealing with a large faceless corporation that focuses on volume business rather than quality of service.
  6. 58% agree that being on the cloud has given them better control of their data. Being able to access your company’s data and IT systems whenever and wherever you want means that you are always in control of what is happening in your business.
  7. 41% of profit-focused small business owners plan to invest in the cloud by 2014. It is evident that small businesses are recognising the benefits of cloud computing as the uptake is constantly increasing.  Companies are recognising the value and benefit of Software as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service, which dispense with the need for expensive capital equipment and costly installation and upgrades of software.
  8. Industry use of Cloud Computing:  Financial Services 63%,  Manufacturing 62%,  Healthcare 59%,  Transportation 51% 
    Four main industries are predominantly using cloud platforms already for their business. This illustrates the continuity in demand for such a system.
  9. 50% agree that business agility is the primary reason for adopting cloud applications. The fact that cloud offers elasticity and complete flexibility of service to companies, means that business operations can be carried out far more efficiently.
  10. 72% of organisations using private cloud servers have improved end-user experience. We have found that cloud creates a more productive and engaging working environment for employees, leading to higher levels of motivation and performance. 

Take our Poll and let us know how you feel about cloud computing.  Is it something you have experience of already?  Or are you looking to move your business IT to the cloud in the near future?  

Cloudmetix offers you all the benefits of cloud computing and more.  We would love to give you a free demonstration, or why not try it for yourself using our 30-day no obligation trial. 

You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain through business process improvements. 

Call us today or visit our website: http://www.cloudmetix.net

Business heads to the cloud

According to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), the impact of cloud computing on business can no longer be ignored with nearly half (48%) of UK organisations now using some form of cloud computing.  Other reports this year have also suggested that cloud computing is likely to be adopted by more and more companies, with business chiefs citing it as the top technology priority for 2011.

Interestingly the CIF research also revealed the main reason for using ‘the cloud’ is flexibility, particularly among smaller companies (those with fewer than 20 employees) with 63% of them citing it.   According to the CIF, 94% of cloud users said they were satisfied with the technology and while 52% had yet to invest in it, all bar 2% of them had every intention of doing so.

But before you join the rush, and head for the clouds, what should you know about these new technologies and what this means for your company?Cloudmetix

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is basically a fundamental change in the way we use computing technology.  Instead of having costly hardware and software on your premises, all your digital files, records, software and programmes are stored offsite with a cloud service provider and you access them via the internet.  With broadband becoming ever faster, and data storage now available in terabytes, this provides the platform for software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).  This means that you no longer have to buy software licences.  You simply pay for storage and time, usually per user. 

In practical terms, this translates into numerous benefits for SMEs:

Cost effectiveness

Cloud computing can be a very cost effective option for SMEs.   No capital outlay on hardware and software licences.  This means that companies can be up and running with their business IT literally in minutes.  Installing servers and other hardware can typically take weeks.  For start-ups this is a significant benefit.  For existing businesses, it takes away a lot of the headache that comes with continually having to upgrade hardware and software.

Scaleability

Cloud has great elasticity.  As your company grows, cloud computing can grow with you.  You can increase the number of users as required and you can increase storage capacity.  Your cloud infrastructure also supports your company’s internal processes and procedures and IT networks.

Freedom and Flexibility

Access your data and software wherever you are.  You can go on holiday or on a business trip and access your “office” from anywhere there is an internet connection – even if you are on the other side of the world!  This applies to anyone in your team whether this is employees who want to work from home occasionally, remote workers or freelance staff.  Having access to the company’s IT networks helps teambuilding and also helps you to manage the workflow of your teams.

Data Security

A good cloud provider will look after your data security.  You will no longer have to worry about backups or data loss.  No more taking tapes off the business premises.  No more worrying about whether you have backed up data.  A good cloud provider will also ensure that your data is safe from cybercrime, hackers, and viruses, and will minimise spam to your email accounts. 

 What are the pitfalls? 

Cloud computing sounds too good to be true, and it does offer many benefits for SMEs.  But there are a number of key concerns.  This is mainly down to finding the right cloud computing service for your business.  No one size fits all and it is important to really understand what it is you are trying to achieve with your IT.  It is worth spending time on either developing a new IT strategy or revising and upgrading your existing one. 

Here are a few key questions you should ask? 

How do I find a Reputable Cloud Provider?  The market is already seeing an increase in cloud computing providers, from large brand names such as Google, to SME providers like Netmetix.  You need to look for a provider that can fulfil the needs of your business.  One that has a good reputation, a good track record, and one that is responsive when it comes to customer service. Ask how long they have been in business?  And where possible find out about the level of service they have provided to their existing customers.

Where will our data be stored and how safe is it?    Ensure that your provider has put measures in place to protect the cloud servers from fire, flood, and theft.  Also make sure the back-up processes are rigorous.  Check where your data will be backed up to and how often.

Technical support.  You should receive a service level agreement (SLA) that sets out all the terms and conditions of your cloud computing service.  Ask what the penalties are for downtime.  Most cloud providers offer a guarantee that you will have access to your data and services at least 99% of the time.  Ask how your provider will compensate you should they fail to provide this.

Cloudmetix

Netmetix Netmetix is delighted to announce the launch of Cloudmetix, a complete IT infrastructure solution which provides everything you would expect to see in a Local Area Network (LAN), including software, storage, rigorous back-up and an extremely high level of anti-virus and IT security. 

Underpinned by ten years solid experience of offering IT solutions to our clients, Cloudmetix is a robust system ideally suited for SMEs, giving the flexibility, freedom and scalability you need to grow with your business and to adapt to its changing needs. 

As Microsoft IT Certified Partners we have the best technicians in the business, who have all gone through a rigorous training programme. 

Taking the next step

There’s no doubt that the evidence is compelling – ‘The Cloud’ is here to stay and increasing in popularity as flexibility and efficiency become the main watchwords of businesses, irrespective of the sectors in which they operate.  If you want to know more, then our sales team would be happy to have a no obligation discussion with you. 

Alternatively, why not try cloud computing for yourself.

Cloudmetix 30 Day No Obligation Trial

If you are looking at moving to cloud computing why not try it first. 

With Cloudmetix you can have a 30 day trial period with no obligation.   

Simply call us today or email:  Stephen.groundwell@netmetix.net