It’s an exciting time for Coventry as we gear up to welcome the Olympic games but while we are all enjoying the festivities and fun that the greatest event on earth brings, what does the influx of visitors and attention on the city mean to your business?
There are some obvious positives – the profile of Coventry and its businesses will be raised and you will have the opportunity to bring your products and services to a wider audience but it also brings with it problems, particularly for SMEs.
A recent Lords debate at the end of March raised the subject of the potential disruption to businesses during the Olympic Games. Like London, Coventry will be seeing a surge in visitors meaning an increase in the amount of people on the roads and even more congestion. Have you considered the possibility that members of your staff may not be able to get to work on time – if at all?
If you are technology savvy and your Coventry business is using cloud computing then this possibility need not be a worry. Cloud computing offers total flexibility to your business and allows you to access your work computer network at any time from anywhere in the world – taking work out of normal business hours and out into the modern day business world, where a lot of productivity happens on the move. With cloud computing, staff are able to work from home, on public transport from laptops and iPads or even in their local coffee house, meaning that your business does not have to suffer from increased congestion on the roads.
Another point raised in the House of the Lords was the potential effects of a cyber surge in view of the huge interest there will be in the Olympic Games themselves. With more and more people accessing Coventry and using our Wi-Fi ports around the area, will your business be able to survive a high demand for internet capabilities?
With cloud computing, your business uses a high performance IT network which offers increased bandwidth compared to any other network, making your business a lot more resilient. Cloud computing automatically updates software and facilities in the cloud so it does not affect your on-going usage. What’s more – it is just about as safe an IT network as it is possible to find.
Cloud computing comes with enhanced security packages that protect your business from external and internal threats to your network. Our own cloud computing solution, Cloudmetix, is protected by the latest security appliances and software from Cisco and Symantec. The datacentre is protected by 24/7 perimeter security and CCTV with scheduled authorised access only with photo-ID.
Having a professional, reliable cloud computing service in place can guarantee that your business is not affected by the Olympic games. You need not worry about bandwidth surges, increased congestion or security because your cloud solution protects you against any threat to lost downtime and profit. Instead, you will just be free to enjoy a historic Olympic games and cheer Team GB up the medals table.
You probably know by now that we are a certified Microsoft Gold Partner (we like to talk about it now and again) but what exactly does that mean? So we can affix the name Microsoft onto the end of every service we offer but being certified gold by the brand is much more than bragging rights! It basically means that we can offer our customers so much more to our customers than our competitors can. In fact, as we like to shout when it comes to our managed services – we are staying ahead of the game!
What’s the point of it?
Being certified gold by Microsoft means that we are officially endorsed to provide you with the highest levels of expertise, strategic thinking, and hands-on skills. It means that when it comes to working on Microsoft products, we know better than other companies how their products operate, their strengths and weaknesses and above all else, how to get the best results from all Microsoft products.
It means that we work closely with Microsoft, maintaining excellent communicative links with the company and receiving the very best IT training. As a gold certified Microsoft partner, we encompass a broad range of expertise and vendor affiliations that can help you prioritise and effectively deliver your technology solutions.
Why should I care?
Not just any company gets to be certified gold by Microsoft you know! Microsoft Gold partners have been in the IT industry for an average of five years, bringing lots of experience to customers. Such an award proves that we have met the minimum benchmark for the number of Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) who have a demonstrated level of technical expertise and the proven ability to deliver solutions featuring Microsoft products. MCPs have to pass certification exams developed by Microsoft no less! If you like talking numbers, we have four!
In order to achieve Microsoft Gold status, we have to prove that we offer expertise in IT infrastructure, networking, office automation, e-commerce, collaboration, business intelligence and other leading edge IT disciplines. We offer consulting, training, implementation, maintenance and support – the complete package! With 24/7 telephone support available to us from Microsoft, 365 days of the year, there is no Microsoft-related IT enquiry that we cannot solve for our clients, making us one of the most skilled IT systems businesses in the region.
Oh, and guess what….
You now know exactly what we are talking about when mention our Microsoft Gold status but that’s not all. We’re currently #2 nationally on the MS Pinpoint website for Gold Server partners. We’re #1 within a 10 mile radius of Coventry across all disciplines and #3 within a 25 mile radius (CLICK HERE). This simply means that we have received some of the most positive reviews from customers.
So don’t just take our word for how good our services are, take the word of one of the biggest IT companies in the world and the many people who have used us in the past. It is them who help us stay ahead of the game!
We have been a busy hub of productivity since announcing our first cloud computing seminar, and the success of the event last Wednesday has given us more to go at in the way of educating businesses on de-mystifying cloud computing, what the business benefits are, and how to choose the right provider.
One of our main aims was to allay concerns that people have around the security of cloud computing. Whilst the overall model has evidently been around since the 1960’s, it is still a relatively new concept to SMEs, and the term itself can be extremely complex as it can cover all types of internet-based activity. In speaking to businesses across the board, we have always found that there is a level of naivety around the protection of data in the cloud. Following on from our seminar, the general consensus was that people were unaware that if you choose the right provider then data can actually be more secure in the cloud.
It is important that businesses are taught about the huge benefits they can gain from using a cloud solution which not only helps them manage day to day operations more effectively, but also underpins their growth strategies. We wanted to invite impartial advice from the National B2B Centre and Coventry University to show businesses that this really is a great advancement in terms of business IT.
Delegates, ranging from accountants and solicitors to musicians and virtual office services, congregated at the Management Group Training Services Centre in Coventry last Wednesday to hear expert advice from three different perspectives.
A topic of significant interest at the seminar was the impact of the USA PATRIOT Act, where data passing through an American located or owned (partially or in whole)network is accessible by American authorities. This was something that delegates appeared to be initially unaware of. One of the running themes in the feedback was that companies would want to use a provider which stores all their data in local UK datacentres, providing a much higher level of security that most SMEs could afford themselves.
Here’s what some of the attendees said:
Sean Farnell, partner at Burgis and Bullock accountants:
“The security session was very thought provoking as I wasn’t aware of the USA PATRIOT Act beforehand. It has made me think that I would definitely want all of my data remaining in the UK at all times, and the seminar as a whole has given me more clarity in what I would want and need from a cloud provider.”
Ruth Coles, director of training services at The Paperwork Team:
“I liked the security presentation a lot, as it is one area I am personally interested in. If you are storing client’s information then you need to know how secure it is. In regards to the data centre it’s good to know where the datacentres are because of having a physical image. It became clear to me that if you use one of the large American companies as a provider then it is hard to ensure that the provider is taking all the security measures themselves.”
Lewis Burden, IT manager at Challinors Solicitors:
“What I found most important were the concerns around the security of data and obtaining a service level agreement from your provider. We attended the seminar as we already use it in some respects but are on a fact finding mission as we would like to expand our use of cloud. It has made us think about giving more consideration to the provider by researching them thoroughly and we would be more inclined to go with them if they had references from existing clients who are legal firms.”
Vince O’Malley, owner of Musical Exchanges:
“I felt completely de-mystified after the presentation. I went in knowing very little about the cloud and it gave a lot of information, and considering it was such a lot to take in, it was laid out and explained in an easy to follow manner. As a company we had been discussing servers and cloud computing and since the seminar we can now see the benefit of the flexibility offered rather than an in-house or shared server, as we use now. In regards to security I didn’t know what to think beforehand, however as the seminar wen on it became clear why people may have concern, but these were well combatted by the speakers. It is now clear that with the right cloud provider it is not something you should worry about because the cloud can be more secure than other systems anyway.”
Margaret Mary Keaney, director of MMK Mediation and Consulting:
“If people did not know about cloud computing beforehand then it was a useful seminar to begin to understand it. I am already using cloud but it was a good way to find out more about how it works as I am fairly new to it.”
We now look forward to hosting a number of other cloud computing seminars this year in order to teach businesses across the region how they can be brought forward. 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
When? Wednesday 18th April
Where? Midland Group Training Services on Gulson Road in Coventry
Time? 9am – 12pm
Surviving in today’s highly competitive market requires SMEs to be on top form and completely agile when it comes to performance. And it is cloud computing that is leading the way when it comes to adaptability, flexibility and scalability.
To give you all the information you need if you’re considering cloud computing for your business, we have gathered a team of three speakers who will cover the key features and benefits.
Embrace the freedom of doing what you do best – running your business! Cloud computing allows you and your team to access your business from anywhere in the world, at any time. In the 21st century, companies have flexible work forces. It makes sense to have IT that fits modern business models.
We can learn many lessons from the animal kingdom about speed, agility and performance which can be translated to business. Cloud computing offers you the agility of a cheetah – flexible, fast, and precise. At the same time it has the elasticity which will allow you to adapt to changing market conditions by scaling the size of your business quickly and efficiently, and without the capital investment.
Business IT Security
Full platform cloud computing which offers you full IT infrastructure as well as Software as A Service will keep your systems and data safe, secure and bug-free. Our experts will address any concerns you might have around data security and how you can ensure your choice of cloud provider is safe.
Who are our speakers?
There will be FREE Cloud cookies and refreshments for all our guests as well as a comprehensive view on how Cloud can optimise your business performance. So why wouldn’t you attend? SIGN UP HERE!
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
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:
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.
Cyber security is currently a hot topic and representatives from 60 nations have come together in London to fight back against the dangerously high levels of cyber crime threats across the world.
Mr Cameron spoke about Britain’s individual approach to the issue. He said: “Britain will shortly set out a new approach for better online security, crime prevention and public awareness. But a cross-border problem needs cross-border solutions, which is why the world needs to act together.”
This conference follows on from our recent blog addressing the ‘disturbing’ number of cyber attacks that have been attempted upon the UK. (http://ow.ly/7gnru)
Cyber crime is estimated to cost £1 trillion a year worldwide and £27 billion in the UK alone. David Cameron pointed out that it costs as little as 69p to buy someone’s credit card information online – the same price as a song on iTunes. This highlights the level of access that the hackers are able to obtain in order to distribute such valuable information at such a low price. Business owners from across the spectrum should use this as an indication to pay distinct attention to the security of the company’s data, as just one breach could destroy a business entirely.
The conference addressed the fact that highly sophisticated hacking techniques are being employed which even challenge the level of advanced secure Government data, therefore small to medium businesses need to ensure they have professional IT experts monitoring their own IT security.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned that creating an international safe cyberspace is one of the biggest challenges we have come across to date and Britain has prioritised cyber attacks as a tier one threat.
Professor Ross Anderson from Cambridge University told the conference how there is a 1 in 20 risk that any given computer is sending out spam without the owner’s knowledge. On suggesting a solution for the over-riding issue of cyber crime Professor Anderson said: “If you want to defend against this kind of threat it’s not enough to just shoot a few crocodiles, you have to drain the swamp.”
At Netmetix, we can provide a team of IT experts who are constantly updating their knowledge in the field, alongside some advanced security solutions for your business. We can help your business to combat the threats of cyber crime effectively. Just visit www.netmetix.net to see what we can offer!
The reports in the media yesterday that there have been a “disturbing” number of cyber attacks upon the UK re-enforces our message that all businesses need to pay more attention to their IT security. With much of our business and personal information co-existing electronically these days, it comes as no surprise that hackers continue to attempt to access this data illegally.
Lobbanm illustrated the threatening effect it has on the UK economy by saying: “I can attest to attempts to steal British ideas and designs in the IT, technology, defence, engineering and energy sectors, as well as other industries, in order to gain commercial advantage or to profit from secret knowledge of contractual arrangements. Such intellectual property theft doesn’t just cost the companies concerned; it represents an attack on the UK’s continued economic wellbeing.”
The Ministry of Defence has countered more than 1,000 online attacks in the last year from cyber criminals and foreign intelligence services. These attempted hacks highlight the vulnerability of any IT system, making it absolutely essential that regular IT audits are carried out within your organisation to ensure all systems are protected. New threats emerge all the time; therefore you could be put at risk any time.
Netmetix also provides a range of IT security solutions designed to ensure business continuity. It’s important to have IT security plan in place before a cyber attack occurs and we can help with the following solutions:
- Anti-spam and anti-virus services
- Email anti-virus and email management services
- Data leakage protection
- Multiple quarantine management
Another option to warrant secure IT systems is to move your business IT systems online into a cloud platform which offers Software as a Service and inbuilt protection. Our cloud service, Cloudmetix, offers complete IT security by taking away the need to worry about data storage and security, back-ups, software upgrades and anti-virus and anti-malware software. Find out more at http://www.cloudmetix.net/
Isn’t it time to take your IT security seriously? If you’re business is subjected to a cyber attack what would it cost you?
The business agility created by Cloud Computing is boosting employee motivation and performance, according to Head of ICT & Business Development at 02, Nicola Mortimer.
As we launch our own cloud solution, Cloudmetix, we find it no surprise that businesses are instantly seeing the benefits of the system, with a general trend of an increase in staff motivation.
As a result of the ‘business agility’ created by cloud computing, Ms. Mortimer claimed that employers could use it as an employee motivation tool to provide a better work-life balance for their workforce.
With the flexibility and scalability Cloudmetix offers, you could potentially attract new staff to your company as well as boost the existing morale in the business.
Flexible working is a growing phenomenon, and the key element of creating such an environment in the workplace is for businesses to switch their IT to a cloud-based system.
Ms. Mortimer said: “From an employee’s perspective, they really get greater mobility – access to company tools from multiple devices when they are outside of the office, so they are not restricted to being at the desk.”
The whole dynamic of an office shifts with cloud adoption, resulting in a more flexible business. A survey of 500 IT decision makers by Sand Hill found that 50% of respondents cited business agility as a primary reason for implementing cloud-based IT.
Another major advantage of transitioning to the Cloud is the financial implications it will have, as Cloudmetix is a cost effective way for SME’s to update their businesses IT.
Ms Mortimer added: “Cloud computing allows businesses to pay only for services as they use them; it’s a utility-based type of computing. That would be a very key aspect for reducing costs within a business.”
How Cloudmetix can make your business more agile ….
- · It can be scaled in response to your business needs. The elasticity of Cloudmetix means you can add or remove users quickly.
- · Your complete office IT can be accessed from anywhere at any time.
- · Cloudmetix has robust data security, preventing risks from cyber crime, hacking and viruses.
How will it change day-to-day activity?
|The traditional 9am to 5pm office hours ties employees to a rigid working regime. This can create resentment when more flexible working is required.||Cloudmetix is easily accessible from anywhere in the world, enabling employees to have flexible working hours and being able to work from home.|
|Having to deal with masses of spam emails and sort through them causes annoyance and also lost productivity.
|Cloudmetix spam filters ensure junk emails are minimised and you are also safe from hacking and cybercrime.|
|Malfunctioning IT systems can result in unnecessary downtime for staff creating backlogs in workload and lost productivity.||Cloudmetix is available 24/7, and is on robust and secure servers, virtually guaranteeing no downtime for business productivity.|
|Remote workers and freelance staff can often feel isolated and not part of a team leading to lower morale and motivation.||Cloudmetix enhances business communications, ensuring that team members have access to the office IT as if they were there. With all the business data being readily available and accessible, the performance of remote workers and freelance staff can be increased.|
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.email@example.com