Is the UK’s infrastructure falling behind other nations?

Posted in Communic8, Spectrum Internet, Tewdric, nsuk on March 19th, 2012 by GilesP – Comments Off

I don’t normally read through the PM’s speeches but this one makes a lot of sense! If you don’t want to read through it, the key points are that he believes our Victorian-laid infrastructure may be a bit outdated and it’s having an effect on business. It may cost billions to put right but it’s investment in infrastructure that’s key right now. And he’s right! In my personal soap box corner, investing in good communications for your business can only be a good thing. Whilst the costs for fibre optics are high, there’s a really good reason for that -it’s so much better than those Victorian copper pairs that you are relying on for broadband. A business fibre ‘leased line’ really is an investment in the same way as is investing in your staff. You don’t just look at what an employee’s salary is to decide if they are going to help your business grow – do you? So why do it with fibre? (and by the way fibre is usually cheaper and less hassle than a member of staff!). I don’t usually enable the comments feature on my blogs but I’m keen to hear from businesses on this one. Have you recently moved to a fibre line? What difference has it made? Have to looked at the costs but not seen the benefit? Let us know! (If you have come here from Twitter, welcome!)

Is your business ready for winter?

Posted in Communic8, Tewdric, nsuk on November 16th, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

This time last year we were blissfully unaware of the snow heading our way. For some, the winter wonderland created a magical time to get out the sledges, build a snowman and play in the snow or cuddle up in front of a crackling fire. But for businesses it was mayhem. Staff that actually came in struggled with traffic tailbacks and crashes on the journeys to and from the office, or braved walking across icy footpaths and treacherous roads, or waited for public transport that hardly ran at all. Many stayed at home. An article published in the Daily Telegraph last February reckoned that a fifth of Britain’s workforce stayed at home during the December ‘Big Freeze’ with a loss of business to the country costing about £1.2 billion over the snow-bound period. So whilst many people are preparing themselves with snow shovels and grit. What can your business do to ensure you are not left out in the cold this winter? Here’s our winter survival kit (and we supply all items if you’re interested!) Test your systems actually work! Isn’t hind-sight a great thing?! If only you’d checked last night’s backup actually did what it was supposed to. Do a restore test before you need to. It’s particularly important over the Christmas break when there’s less attention paid to these systems…unless they go horribly wrong! SSL VPN Without the need for installation on every machine, SSL VPN’s will provide remote access over a standard web browser allowing remote users with access to Web applications, client/server applications and internal network connections. So if your workers have broadband and a home PC there’s little reason for them to be completely snowed in with nothing to do on a work day! Two Factor Authentication (2FA) It sounds more complicated than it really is. It works a bit like your debit/credit cards. They’re something you have (the card) and something you know (your PIN) to enable access to your money. The 2FA token/device provides you with a one-time password to give you access to the systems you are logging into e.g your SSL VPN. Next time you log in you need to provide a new password from your token. There’s more information on our website but in short, it provides an additional level of security making sure those accessing the system are really who they say they are. Hosted services/outsourced IT This is increasingly becoming the main-stay of the Net Support portfolio. The press like to use the ‘cloud computing’ terminology but in essence, it’s outsourcing part or all of your IT services leaving your company free to concentrate on its core skills and take advantage of a full IT department at your fingertips- even if it snows! VoIP Voice over IP offers real flexibility as well as telephony cost savings for businesses. Calls can be routed to any phone in or out of the office to any landline or mobile with ease. Our hosted VoIP solution gives you enterprise-grade functionality that’s even affordable for SME’s. Video conferencing (VC) Just because you can’t get somewhere doesn’t mean you can’t join the meeting. VC reduces travel time and cost whilst increasing employee productivity. Choose from individual laptop based software or full immersive conference suites to transport you to meetings anywhere in the world at any time. Lync Unified communications enable you to work from anywhere at any time and on any suitable device. Real-time information keeps you in touch with colleagues whilst the online collaboration enables material sharing without sending emails back and forth. Plus it integrates all the best features of VoIP telephony and video conferencing. The Microsoft Lync server integrates with all your Office applications so you can really be productive wherever you are this winter. Be one step ahead this winter- call us on 029 200 22 300 or email

The loss of a Visionary

Posted in Communic8, Spectrum Internet, Tewdric, nsuk on October 6th, 2011 by GilesP – Comments Off

This morning’s sad news about Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, left me reflecting on some of his many achievements.

Whilst Net Support is quite solidly a ‘Microsoft House’, the influence of Apple, under his two terms at the company, is constantly felt in today’s business landscape and has to be admired. The power of the Apple brand has undoubtably re-shaped the way we work. For instance, the Apple Mac was the first computer to use a mouse to move the cursor around the screen and, until recently, became the standard for most devices (until iPhone made touch devices the leading-edge technology of choice).

I have been selling connectivity to organisations for nearly ten years but the real serge in demand has only been recent  – I would say it has only been since the introduction of the iPhone that company directors have really embraced the power of remote access and now iPads seem to be on every executive’s desk that they want to ’synch’ with their corporate network.

His vision was not just product-based either. I found out today that, at great expense, he changed the warehouses at Pixar around to encourage communication and interaction between the design team and the management which was suffering from poor performance and was losing money. The result was the first Toy Story film which revitalised the whole computer animation film industry.

From a nostalgic point of view I realised today that in such a short timescale the real innovators of the computer revolution have  made so many of the advancements that are shared and loved by millions of people around the world.

In the words of  Steve Jobs himself ;  “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Shocking statistics reveal why video conferencing is on the up

Posted in Communic8, Connect Cardiff, Tewdric, nsuk on July 31st, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

A recent survey conducted with senior executives about their business travel could help to explain why the video conferencing market is booming at the moment.

If you were to predict the answer to questions about the necessity of trips, length of journey and delays, then I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised by the answers but what I liked about the survey is it asked questions that are often hard to quantify – even for the business executive.

1 in 10 Executives reported to have missed a child’s birthday or wedding anniversary due to having to take a short haul flight abroad for work purposes. But as half the flights taken were for regular meetings, surely this could have been avoided?

Isn’t it time to start working smarter, not harder? To see the full results click here

Don’t let concerns about security cast a cloud over your projects

Posted in Communic8, Connect Cardiff, Tewdric, nsuk on May 31st, 2011 by Tewdric_Marketing – Comments Off

A study carried out by research analyst OVUM has revealed that multinationals are becoming increasingly interested in cloud computing technology. It states that 45% of multinationals are using the cloud nowadays, a raise from 24% in 2010. The cloud offer them many benefits such as data back-up and storage, communications services, web hosting, corporate IT systems, networking or applications software. The numerous advantages of the technology explain its success.

However, at the European level, another study performed by AMD has shown that concerns about security are still preventing many companies from considering moving services and data into the cloud. Indeed, 59% of businesses have declared that security is the main barrier to cloud adoption.

Their concerns could easily be explained when considering the amount of “Security Data Breach” or “Hacking” stories related to big names in the news recently. So it can be understood why some firms may be reluctant to the adoption of cloud services, however, they need to be aware that all providers aren’t all the same.

Of course, relying on a third party to secure data, application and networks is a matter of trust. At Net Support UK we are committed to work closely with our clients to ensure that all their requirements are met AND work hard ourselves to understand the security threats that surround our clients and hosted services so that we can offer advice on how best to secure the cloud. In fact, we believe that for small and medium businesses in particular, the cloud can improve their data security, as most of them do not have the finances, resources or skills to create and maintain secured systems. As Graham Titterington, Ovum principal analyst, points out: “For 95% of businesses, they will certainly be more secure in the cloud than they would using their own DIY approach. The hackers will have an easier job getting into their server than they would getting into a server of a cloud provider [...]” In other words, yes, hackers will try to get into a cloud provider server, but as the levels of security are likely to be higher, they are more likely to give up than to achieve anything.

As more and more workers are able to work remotely, accessing cloud-based services and using mobile devices, it has become absolutely essential for businesses to choose a reliable cloud service provider or a third-party data centre.

Data and information protection is key to the cloud technology; this is why we continuously monitor and add new levels of security to our system. After all, our reputation as a private cloud provider is at stake too. So we deliver our services from our own private data centre, monitor activities 24/7 all year long, ensure our staff are up to date in terms of issues that may occur as well as knowledge on the latest ‘Infosec’ thinking and use a variety of technologies to tackle current threats and prevent future ones. Even our hosted VOIP solution offers a more secure-led advantage over our competitors.

Businesses should select a local and professional cloud provider like us that delivers its service from a secured date centre which is run by people whose job it is to manage and secure data and who are interested in working closely with you to answer all the concerns you may have.

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