Posts in IT Services

Microcomms Helps St Petrocs Society to Rebuild Their IT Infrastructure

April 2nd, 2019 Posted by Case Study, IT Services, Networks / Data

St Petrocs work to end street homelessness in Cornwall by providing accommodation, support and advice to single homeless people. The charity has been established for 32 years and has been a Microcomms client for the past two.  Formed at the instigation of the Bishop of St Germans, the charity has considerable support from local churches, local communities and dedicated groups of ‘Friends.’   

Starting over from the ground up
We helped St Petrocs start from scratch with regards to their IT, completely rebuilding the IT infrastructure of the organisation from the ground up. From new servers and network design through to WiFi and software, we’ve enabled the charity to work more efficiently, to save money and improve performance.  We’ve also helped source best pricing, visit pornskill sislovesme step sis lends my cock a hand, ensuring charitable licensing where possible. Security is a key priority for St Petrocs as they hold confidential client data, so installing unified threat protection like Watchguard firewall systems was paramount. 

A key driver for the infrastructure refresh was to increase the efficiency of the staff in terms of their IT and remotely accessing data to assist their homeless clients during all hours, including critical times such as medical or housing emergencies and particularly during times of colder weather. 

St Petrocs Society’s Communications Manager, Dave Brown said, Since working with Microcomms to upgrade all aspects of our IT, our efficiency has improved, which has had a positive effect on the service we deliver.   For instance, a new networking system has meant we are able to update client notes easily and efficiently and as a result our staff are better informed, especially on shift hand-overs, which has meant a better level of service for our clients. 

We have more flexibility in how we work now – our systems are more secure and consistent because our servers aren’t going down and broadband connection isn’t being lost.    It’s great that we now don’t have to think about IT at all and can focus on the job in hand.  If there are any issues, we just call Microcomms to sort it out! 

Dave Brown, Communications Manager, St Petrocs Society

Better wifi means digital inclusion for service users
Another area that has been a real improvement for St Petrocs is the provision of guest Wifi for the clients accessing the charity’s services, in line with digital inclusion. Many government and assistive support is only available online and Internet access can be a challenge.  The free guest Wifi allows for digital inclusion of even the most vulnerable. 

Simon Murley, Managing Director said, “As a Cornish company our commitment to providing support to local social care organisations is paramount. We can see on a daily basis the need and help given to vulnerable people in the county by St Petrocs and we’re grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a fantastic team of committed, caring people.”  

The full range of IT systems and support that Microcomms has provided to St Petrocs includes: 

  • Enterprise Wifi   
  • Cat5 copper and fibre infrastructure  
  • HP Enterprise Networking  
  • Security and Firewall appliances   
  • Dell and HyperV virtual servers    
  • Comprehensive and ongoing IT Support 
  • Private WAN circuits, PSTN and broadband   

For more information on how we can help your organisation update and streamline its IT systems for more efficiency, better security and an all-round improved service to your end user, please give us a call on 03300 020 000.  

Get relevant and engaging content in front of your audience from as little as £9 per month

August 14th, 2018 Posted by A/V, education, hospitality, IT Services, Latest News, retail

SeenSpire is a fantastic new digital product which can add value to your digital signage with an endless supply of exciting, insightful and attention-grabbing Infotainment content.

This digital signage content subscription service allows you to attract and keep viewers’ attention where they work, wait or buy.

As much as 80% of your content playlist can be automated, which means once it’s uploaded, you can get on with the business of running your business, whilst your audience’s attention is driven to your screens, where you can display relevant content.

SeenSpire is perfect for any location. Keep employees ‘in the know’ and engaged in the workplace, let potential customers know of any offers on the shop floor or provide useful information in waiting rooms.

The content platform is offered at a simple and reasonable price-per-screen model and there are two ways in which you can subscribe. Sign up to the Infotainment application and you’ll be granted access to an entire content library with over 300 content feeds ranging from news and weather, to sports, oasisnaturalcleaning.com house cleaning and many more.

If you’re active on social media then engage your audience via the social media app which enables you to repurpose your existing social media content for your digital signage and huminaze your brands. Run competitions in real time and encourage engagement through the use of hashtags.

Or subscribe to both and cover all angles.

All content can be personalised with your company’s logo to ensure brand consistency whilst maintaining recognition and confidence with your audience.

And setting it up couldn’t be easier either.  A member of our team can show you the basics, but with it’s intuitive and simplistic drag and drop menus, you will have content uploaded and displaying in no time at all.   Or, if you prefer, we can manage your content for a reasonable monthly subscription. 

If this sounds like something your company or organisation will benefit from, then give us a call on
+44 (0) 3300 020 000 for more details or sign up for a FREE 30 day trial now. We do provide loans from knightfinance co uk for your financial needs.

GDPR: how to email data securely to comply with the new regulations

April 5th, 2018 Posted by Industry Focus, IT Services

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on May 25, will govern the storage and processing of data rather than its collection. It also includes some very important consumer rights. The most important are the right to be informed, the right of access, the right to correct errors, the right to erase data, the right to restrict processing, and the right take it elsewhere (data portability). How useful these will be in practice remains to be seen.

Emails are like plain text postcards because they can, in theory, be read at any of the many servers through which they pass, or by someone tapping a line. Of course, “read by” is unlikely to mean “read by a human being.” However, software can look for things like passwords and credit card numbers.

A more likely problem is sending emails to the wrong address, either because users have got their own email addresses wrong (this happens surprisingly often), or through human error. Pick the wrong address from a list of auto-complete suggestions and you could send personal data to the wrong recipient. This would be a data breach that might have to be reported.

It would obviously be good thing if all emails were encrypted by default so that only the intended recipient could read them. Three decades of history says this isn’t going to happen soon even though it would help secure investments and asset protection information, if at all. Public key encryption is too hard for people who just want to send normal emails.

Some large organisations do have encrypted email services, such as the NHS, but that doesn’t help the rest of us.

Some people do choose secure email services, such as ProtonMail in Switzerland and Tutanota in Germany. However, you also have to send external recipients a password – for example, in an SMS text message – to decrypt the email.

Tutanota users get an email that says “you have an encrypted email” and you click a link to read it, and reply to it, in a browser. You have to export the email if you want to keep a copy.

There are also plug-ins for Gmail and the Microsoft Outlook email program that provide secure email services. If one of your employers is using a secure system, they might let you join in.

If there’s no other alternative, you should encrypt and password-protect your images and documents before sending them as email attachments. Again, you must send the password separately, either via a different messaging service or in the post.

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Online storage locations

It’s a good idea to upload attachments and then send people a link. However, bear in mind that you are uploading documents to the company that probably runs the biggest surveillance operation on the planet. Encrypt your documents before you upload them.

Encryption protects data if an online storage service is compromised – it has happened – or if your email is hacked.

Unfortunately, using Google Drive brings up an extra complication. If you are using Gmail, then you can assume that your data is being held in, or passing through by arizona bus company, or accessible from the USA.

GDPR does not oblige users to store data on servers inside the EU. However, there are extra requirements if servers are outside the EU. First, you need to have a legitimate reason for transferring personal data outside the EU. Second, you must have the consent of the person whose data is being exported. Third, you must give that person the option to opt out.

In another post, the aforementioned Liz Henderson explains how to create a GDPR Privacy Notice, and you could adapt her sample to cover Gmail storage outside the EU.

You could switch to using an email service that operates wholly within the EU (see above), if only for any people who opt out, or you could upgrade to Google’s paid-for service.

Google claims that its G Suite and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services are fully compliant with GDPR, because it offers to sign EU Model Contract Clauses and a Data Processing Amendment. The fine print notes that “the parties acknowledge and agree that Non-European Data Protection Legislation may also apply to the processing of Customer Personal Data” and that “Google will not process Customer Personal Data for Advertising purposes or serve Advertising in the Services”.

 

New Microsoft Bundle includes Windows 10

July 12th, 2017 Posted by IT Services, Subjects

Microsoft has bundled up its core products for businesses for a monthly fee, to encourage companies to upgrade to Windows 10. Its new offering, Microsoft 365, includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, for a monthly, per-user fee.

By wrapping its products into one package, the company is making it easier for businesses big and small to manage and pay for the software. It also pushes customers to the latest versions of Office and Windows and, as it’s subscription-based, ensures they’ll always have the latest version of software – something Microsoft are keen to encourage among its user base. In the recent Cyber Security attacks, Microsoft have scrambled to produce patches for their old software, but this has still left some users vulnerable. Having latest versions should help alleviate this pressure.

There are two main versions of the new package:

Microsoft 365 Business

Caters for businesses with up to 300 users. Alongside Windows, Office and the security tools, the bundle will also include Microsoft’s mileage tracking app, called MileIQ, and previews of three new SMB-focused apps: Listings, for email marketing; Connections, to help publish your business information online; and Invoicing. It will hit public preview on 2 August and be available in the autumn.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise

For larger companies, Microsoft 365 Enterprise comes in two versions E3 and E5, with both available on 1 August. The former comes with Office, Outlook and Exchange, Teams, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Yammer and Microsoft’s threat protection system, as well as analytics and management software. E5 adds further analytics and compliance tools, and Microsoft’s advanced security tools, as well as PSTN Conferencing and Cloud PBX.

Speak to Microcomms about any 365 needs – we’ve got all the packages covered. We can help you determine which is the right solution for you and your business.

 

digital transformation

Digital disruption for marginal gain can have a big business impact

November 8th, 2016 Posted by IT Services, News, Subjects

Really interesting article we’ve enjoyed reading from the Quartz News Channel:

Digital disruption is an opportunity for companies to reshape their business

Across all industries, digital disruption is no longer a hypothetical—it’s reality. Digitization is changing the way products are made, marketed, and delivered, altering consumers’ behavior and expectations in turn.

The good news is, now more than ever, business leaders, in partnership with their IT department, have the power to transform their companies by using technology to gain an advantage in the market and defend against attacks from emerging competitors. For transformation to take root, the seeds of digitization must be sown across three main areas of business operations: customer experience, products and services, and core operations.

Doing business today means meeting the expectations of tech-savvy customers—think fast transaction times and frictionless interactions facilitated by mobile check-ins, one-click sign-ups, and instant online approvals. Through digital tools like recommendation algorithms, customer service chatbots, and user profiles, digitization can help improve the customer experience  by gathering and analyzing large amounts of consumer data. In doing so, businesses can tailor their offerings at an unprecedented level and anticipate the customer’s future needs.

enterprise-chart

After customer experience comes products and services. Even the most traditional consumer products, such as watches, cars and small appliances, are being digitally enhanced.

Finally, a digital overhaul of core operations aligns the entire business around the idea of transformation, creating an environment that’s optimized for agile responses and adaptation. Many basic tasks can be automated saving time and expense. Just as digital technology improves consumer products it also improves industrial equipment. Save time, money and get better results.

Sometimes the small changes really do make big differences. Speak to Microcomms today to find out how we can help you digitize your company.

 

Design & Consultancy

May 12th, 2016 Posted by IT Services

The senior members of Microcomms have many years of combined experience partnering with organisations both large and small.  Our clients trust our sound consultancy and innovative approach to a range of IT disciplines.  Specialist knowledge is held in infrastructure (structured cabling for large environments), network troubleshooting and design, WAN, server virtualisation, audio visual projects, telephony and broadband.

Service and Support

April 1st, 2016 Posted by IT Services

A team of experienced engineers and tech support means that should the worst happen, we can have someone dialled in or on site to get you back up and running with minimal disruption to day to day operations. Let us take care of it so you don’t have to. 

Server Upgrades

February 26th, 2016 Posted by IT Services

With information security and backing up data becoming more and more important in day to day business, Microcomms will find the best match to your requirements, updating existing servers to the most secure and reliable options, including secondary location solutions.