Business Focused IT Support

Bogus Email and Internet Campaigns

by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, cybercrime, General, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR, Ransomware, Training, Uncategorised

The National Cyber Security Agency is reporting an increase of bogus email and internet campaigns to users. With the current global pandemic and many people now working from home the criminals are taking full advantage of more people relying on email as a form of communication.

Virus detected image

Over the years, MPR, have unfortunately dealt with a number of situations involving email and Internet campaigns and virus attachments. Now more than ever we ask that you be extra vigilant for any attachments that you receive.

If you do not know the sender – DO NOT OPEN ANY ATTACHMENT, the chances are it is a cyber crime campaign.

If you do know the sender – CHECK THIS IS AN ATTACHMENT YOU ARE EXPECTING, additionally take a close look at the email address. Often criminals will use an almost identical email address to trick people into opening files for example: support@mpr-lt.co.uk as opposed to the correct email support@mpr-it.co.uk.

If you are unsure of any attachment from a known sender please contact the sender by phone to confirm they have in fact sent you an email.

With many of our customer now working from home, on either a personal computer or one provided by their employer – it is vital that all users ensure that anti-virus software is up to date. MPR IT strongly recommends Webroot as being the best on the current market. If you would like more information on Webroot please contact our sales team on 0800 030 20 30 option 1.

Our helpdesk team are committed to answering all queries as fast as we can and we appreciate your patience at this time.  We would also like to thank each and everyone of our customers for their support during this busy time and we wish everyone well.

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Increased Demand in Helpdesk Support

by Nicki Dowsett in Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, Engineers, General, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR IT Work

Due to Coronavirus and the recent Government assertations to work from home where possible, we are experiencing a large increase in the number of calls and emails to the Helpdesk.  In order to manage this we have reallocated resources to ensure that the day-to-day requests can be acted upon as close to our usual levels of service as possible.

There are three main methods for raising support requests with MPR. These are;

1 – Call us on 08000 30 20 30 select Option 2. This will direct you straight to our Helpdesk.  We are available between 0830-1730 Monday to Friday. If you are unable to get through in the first instance we do have a voicemail system on the helpdesk that is regularly checked.

2 – Email support@mpr-it.co.uk – Once we have received your email for an initial ticket request, you will then be sent a confirmation email with your ticket reference. Our email is manned throughout our normal working hours but will not be picked up out of hours.    ty4

3 – Email helpdesk@mpr-it.co.uk – This is if you are following up existing support requests. You will need to ensure you have your ticket reference in the subject and one of our Helpdesk Team will pick this up and respond in kind to your existing query/new query ity4

To ensure we can assist you effectively we will need as much information as possible from you regarding your fault or problem. i.e.

  • How many users the issue is affecting?
  • How long has the issue being occurring for?
  • Have you made any changes recently to cause the problem?
  • What is the impact to your business?

Along with as many details as possible relating to the fault (Error messages, users affected etc.) so we can replicate the issue. We will also need relevant contact details so we can keep in touch with you.

If we need to remotely log onto your servers / workstation, we will require secure access enabled to get there. We are able provide a direct secure access through our website http://www.mpr-it.co.uk/remote-support/ – it is probably best you are at this website in your browser and waiting for us (unless you are calling us about connectivity issues).

Our team are committed to answering all queries as fast as we can and we appreciate your patience at this time.   We would also like to thank each and everyone of our customers for their support during this busy time and we wish everyone well.

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NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SERVICE CONTINUITY PLAN

by Nicki Dowsett in Disaster Recovery, Engineers, General, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR, MPR IT Work

We know your business depends on our ability to provide reliable, uninterrupted service, so in light of the recent developments around Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we would like to share with you the measures we are taking to ensure service continuity.

MPR continues to monitor the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) developments with a primary focus on ensuring the health and safety of our staff while mitigating business impacts. In support of this, we are convening regular meetings with teams across the business and regularly sharing information about the virus and how to prevent the spread of illness.

Risk assessments will be undertaken for all off-site work, meetings etc. to determine if this can be postponed or carried out remotely.

We will act according to the instructions and recommendations of the relevant authorities and in a manner that safeguards our staff. As always, consistent, timely communications with all our stakeholders are critical, and we will communicate any relevant information, when possible.

We have made investments in our technology infrastructure and business continuity planning to ensure we can operate all our systems and processes remotely to provide you with seamless service should any of our staff need to work remotely (e.g., due to self-isolation, school closures, etc.) or should we decide to close the offices and/or switch to a remote working model. We continue to test our business continuity strategies to confirm we can provide ‘business as usual’ should our entire workforce need to work remotely. In the event of this happening, we would operate as follows

  1. Desk phones would revert to soft phones, allowing continuous phone access to our teams, and ensuring all skill groups would continue to work seamlessly.
  2. Microsoft Teams would be used internally for productive collaboration and content sharing.
  3. Meetings, events and training would be switched to virtual environments.

As always, we remain committed to supporting your business with an unparalleled level of service and will continue to monitor the situation, providing you with updates appropriately and promptly.

For further information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-thepublic

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Covid-19: Disaster Management Plans

by Nicki Dowsett in Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, General, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, MPR, Office 365

Covid-19 has fast become the hot topic in the media and conversations around the world. Whilst there is still much uncertainty as to how it will affect us as individuals and businesses, it is not something to completely dismiss.

The spread of Covid-19 is likely to increase over the coming weeks. With schools and businesses expected to be affected, be it due to members of staff/pupils becoming unwell or simply due to an external connection to someone that is affected.

This morning (Tuesday 3rd March 2020), Downing Street released a statement detailing various plans for the worst case scenario. Including a prediction that up to a fifth of the UK workforce potentially being unable to work due to Covid-19.

Disaster Management plans have traditionally been put in place for the scenarios where offices are inaccessible. With consideration made due to fire, flood or bad weather. It is unlikely that the current situation of a global contagion has been taken into consideration. Now is the time to consider and review your disaster management plan.

Catch it, Kill it, Bin it!

This phrase, and the recommendation of regular hand washing is promoted widely. Here at MPR IT, we are ensuring that this message is clear to all our staff members, whether they are office based or engineers visiting clients offices. We have also instructed all team members that should they be concerned they may have come into contact with someone suffering with Coronavirus symptoms, they should inform management and seek medical advise whilst self isolating.

Flexible Home Working

In line with the Disaster Management Plan already in place for MPR IT, all staff members have the ability to work from home and continue to support our clients with no loss of service. This is part of a plan that has been in place for many years. The main purpose of this plan is to ensure that our business can continue no matter what.

Office 365 and Cloud Computing

Software packages such as Office 365, and cloud based CRM’s are becoming more common place. Giving access to email and Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Teams, from any location with Internet connectivity. Giving the ability to create and share documents with chosen individuals.

Telephone Systems

Along with access to documents and files, it is also vital for your business phone lines to be managed. With Hosted Telephone Systems your customers are still able to contact you. Without even having to know you are not physically in the office.

With a range of options and packages to suit businesses of all sizes, we strongly recommend that if you wish to consider the options available to your business, now is the time to contact and discuss with our team on 0800 030 20 30.

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National Apprenticeship Week 2020

by Nicki Dowsett in Engineers, General, Helpdesk, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR, National Apprentice Week 2020, Training

National Apprenticeship week is being celebrated this week, an annual celebration supporting and promoting apprenticeships in the workplace.

To celebrate National Apprenticeship week, we would like to recognise Ben and Jacob. Having both joined MPR IT four years ago as apprentices, are now integral members of the team. Since completing their apprenticeships they have worked their way up to 2nd line engineers within the helpdesk team.

Keep up the good work Ben and Jacob, we are proud to have you part of our team.

Ben Lane-Bailey
Ben Lane- Bailey

Some of the feedback received from customers on Ben’s support:

  • Ben was great!
  • Thanks Ben for your swift response in sorting out the issue, greatly appreciated
  • Ben was very professional and took the time to explain what He needed from me so He could carry out the system check to confirm the error and what as needed, which Ben emailed to me to help get the issue resolved.
  • Many Thanks for your timely response
  • As usual Ben sorted the problem quickly and efficiently
  • Perfect service as usual!
Jacob Little
Jacob Little

Some of the feedback received from customers on Jacob’s support:

  • Super quick to assist as usual! Thank you
  • Job done quickly with the right result
  • Jacob was a very good help
  • Excellent service in resolving issue
  • Jacob attended to my request quite fast, and I appreciate him considering our time difference
  • As always, Jacob sorted out the issue really quickly.  Thank you
  • Brilliant first class services

For many years, MPR IT has been a strong supporter of apprenticeships and encouraging the progression from full time education to the workplace. Giving young people the opportunity to learn key skills and gain knowledge in the IT industry. We strongly believe that staff development at MPR is important to staff loyalty.  Working on several initiatives we support each team member on an individual basis.  No member of staff is the same and they each have a different path they wish to take. 

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JUST IN – NEW OFFER NOT TO BE MISSED

by Nicki Dowsett in General, Hardware, Helpdesk, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR

  • Are you looking to upgrade PC’s in your office due to end of life?
  • Are you expanding and need new PC’s for new staff?
  • Or are you running Windows 7 but need to update Windows 10 and your current PC isn’t powerful enough?

If the answer is yes then look no further than these two amazing offers currently available. (Subject to availability and stock for new sales only.)

Now that Microsoft are no longer supporting Windows 7 with updates and security patches, it is recommended that you up date to Windows 10. However, before you make the move, it is imperative that you audit your current software systems and hardware. Windows 10 is a powerful operating system and therefore requires a large amount of RAM installed. Our team of experts can audit all of your software packages (e.g Sage) and hardware (e.g RAM, printers and scanners) to ensure these are compatible and where they may not be.  To upgrade without taking this into consideration, you may find that it becomes time consuming and more costly to rectify the issues.

We understand that when it comes to purchasing new hardware for your office it can be costly. Whether its due to natural end of life, additional staff members or needing to upgrade to more powerful PC’s, these two offers should not be overlooked.

HP PRODESK 600 G2 SFF at only £499

Refurbished With intel core i5 16GB 360SSD + 3 year warranty

Configuration additional cost

DELL OPTIPLEX 9020 AT ONLY £399

Refurbished With intel core i5 8GB 360SSD + 3 year warranty

Configuration additional cost

Contact our sales team today on 0800 030 20 30 to discuss the options available for these offers.

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MPR Festive Opening Hours

by Nicki Dowsett in Helpdesk, IT Support, MPR, MPR IT Work

MPR would like to take a moment to thank you for your custom over the last year. It has been a pleasure working with you all and we look forward to more of the same in 2020.

Christmas is an extremely busy time of year for everyone, but all the hard-working MPR staff need some time off too so please find below our Christmas Opening Hours. We will of course do our very best to provide our usual outstanding level of service.

  • Monday 23rd December                8.30am – 5.30pm
  • Tuesday 24th December                8.30am – noon
  • Wednesday 25th December          CLOSED
  • Thursday 26th December              CLOSED
  • Friday 27th December                     8.30am – 5.30pm
  • Monday 30th December                8.30am – 5.30pm
  • Tuesday 31st December                 8.30am – 5.30pm
  • Wednesday 1st January                  CLOSED
  • Thursday 2nd January                      8.30am – 5.30pm

Wishing all our customers a very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year.

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Ashford Business Awards

by Nicki Dowsett in Awards, MPR, MPR IT Work

Ashford Business Awards Finalists

MPR IT Solutions are pleased to announce that we have successfully reached the final round of the Ashford Business Awards for both Customer Services Award and Small Business Award.

Since 2008, MPR IT Solutions has operated with a belief that IT Support could and should be delivered with a focus on Customer Support. We continue to maintain the aim and idea “to never sacrifice our high level of customer service for growth, we hope and believe that through good customer service our business will become the market leader in Kent.”  

Over time MPR IT Solutions has become a well-known and respected IT Support provider, not only in Ashford, but with clients throughout London and the UK.  No longer relying on offering simple support contracts has allowed the business to develop, and we now offer a wide range of technical solutions, through MPR Technical Services working on large building projects in conjunction with our daily IT support offering. 

To be recognised in these two categories as a finalist of these awards is down to the hard work of all the members of our team to carry on this ethos, along with the continued support from all our customers – Thank you

The Ashford Business Awards celebrate businesses within Ashford, Hythe, Romney Marsh, Folkestone, Deal and Dover across a number of categories, including:

  • Start up award
  • Small business award
  • Creative/digital award 
  • Customer services award
  • Innovation award
  • Hospitality / leisure and tourism / best food and drink producer award
  • Business women of the year award
  • Best family business award
  • Best Construction Business NEW to 2019

All finalists will be announced on the Business Bunker Radio Show next Tuesday 12th November 2019, on air between 1 pm – 3 pm.

The winners will be announced at Ashford Business Awards Dinner on Wednesday 20th November 2019 at the Ashford International Hotel. Wishing the team at MPR IT Solutions good luck for the night – we are proud of all you no matter the outcome.

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Domain Ownership – Protecting your brand

by Nicki Dowsett in DNS Web Hosting, Domain Registration, General, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, Uncategorised, Web Hosting, Websites

Domain Registration and Web Hosting

Many businesses have an online presence, without one your business can go unnoticed. When a potential customer is looking for a new supplier or product the first place they will turn to now is most likely the internet.

Many of our clients register their domain names through MPR IT Solutions, and it is becoming increasingly commonplace to register a variety of different domain names for websites such as: .co.uk, .uk, .com, .net and .co.

In addition to registering Domain names, MPR IT Solutions also host many of our client websites.

Whilst you only need one website to promote your business, it is possible to have more than one domain name directed to that website.  There are many reasons for this, the most common reason being the ability to secure your brand. By owning the different variations it means that no one else can buy these and create fake platforms.  This can prove detrimental to your business profile.

With the registration of a variety of domain names you cannot only help to avoid scams but also increase your on-line presence. You are more likely to appear higher in google searches if you have more options for your website to redirect to. Ensuring any potential customers looking for your company can find it more easily.

Protecting your brand

A story from BBC News highlights the importance of retaining domain name ownership, where it has once been linked to your business and how your brand can be seriously affected. In this case a domain name was no longer required by Surrey County Council and released. However it is still referenced by a number of third party websites relating to Special Needs education. The domain, after being released was purchased by a company promoting adult content.

There is nothing that Surrey County Council can do to remove the adult content from this domain as they no longer have ownership of the domain name and therefore no rights to it. Additionally, it is very difficult to monitor which third party websites reference your domain names and this example shows exactly how this could be detrimental to your business brand.

Contact us today on 0800 030 20 30 or sales@mpr-it.co.uk to discuss the Domain registration and Web Hosting options we offer.

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Microsoft Support Ending

by Nicki Dowsett in General, Hardware, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Systems, Microsoft, Office 2007, Office 365, Uncategorised, Windows 10, Windows 7

Microsoft will be ending support and updates for two of their platforms in 2020. If you are currently using either Office 2010 or Windows 7, it is important to consider your options now.

Microsoft have recently announced that support for Office 2010 will be ending on 13th October 2020. This means that from this date there will be no further extension of updates on this package.

Whilst Office 2010 will still continue to function it does mean that you will be at risk of potentially harmful and serious security risks. We recommend that you look to upgrading to Microsoft Office 365 as a replacement.

MPR IT Solutions are an official Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partner and Small Business Specialist. This means we are trained in a number of Microsoft Competencies that directly relate to implementing, migrating and configuring your Office 365 solution. We have vast experience in migrating businesses over to Office 365 and ensure minimal disruption to your daily tasks.

Secondly support will be ending on 14 January 2020 for the operating system Windows 7. Available since 2009, there have been a number of updates since the launch, with the current recommended version Windows 10 now on the market. Please see our earlier blog explaining this.

If you are using Windows 7, either on a personal computer or at your business, now is the time to consider upgrading to Windows 10.  However, before you make the move, it is imperative that you consider any 3rd party software programme installed on your pc/laptop and hardware such as printers, scanners etc. as these may not be compatible.  You will also need to consider the hardware resources available, as Windows 10 is a powerful operating system and therefore requires a large amount of RAM installed.

Our team of experts can audit all of your software packages (e.g Sage) and hardware (e.g RAM, printers and scanners) to ensure these are compatible and where they may not be.  To upgrade without taking this into consideration, you may find that it becomes time consuming and more costly to rectify the issues.

For more information and to discuss your options to upgrade either of these Microsoft products please contact our team on 0800 030 20 30 or email sales@mpr-it.co.uk

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