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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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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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MPR IT are recruiting again

by Nicki Dowsett in Engineers, General, Helpdesk, IT Support, IT Systems, Recruitment

After our previous recruitment drive we are pleased to welcome on board several new members of the team, however as a very busy summer draws to a close, the time has come for MPR IT to recruit again

The vision at MPR IT Solutions has always been to never sacrifice our high level of customer service for growth.  To enable us to provide the high level of service, that our clients demand, we are currently recruiting a number of positions to our Helpdesk.

We are looking for hardworking, experienced individuals to join our ever-growing team.  We require team members with a variety of skills that will allow us to maintain the exemplary service we already provide.  Interacting with customers will be required daily via multiple forms of communication, including on the telephone and through email, so excellent communication skills are essential.

2nd Line Support Engineer

The role consists of providing technical IT support to a wide variety of companies and will require someone who can adapt to different situations and changing demands using their skills to work through issues in a methodical and dynamic manner.

Daily tasks will include customer liaison, processing tickets for support requests using remote access tools and sometimes on-site visits, being the escalation point for the 1st Line team whilst managing their own workload.  Strong investigative and technical skills are critical for this position within a fast paced and sometimes high-pressure environment role.

3rd Line Support Engineer

The position of a 3rd Line Support Engineer covers the more complex areas of design, configuration and support of Windows server environments and networks.

You will be liaising with clients as a technical lead, supporting new client onboarding, future planning of client IT systems; including system design, deployment and maintenance, whilst also providing ongoing 3rd line support as a key member of our Helpdesk team. The successful candidate must show a diverse mindset and hard-working ethic with exceptional verbal and written communication skills.  You will be able to manage your own workload, be an integral team player and have a genuine passion for IT.

For more information and full job descriptions please email: Claire@mpr-it.co.uk

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Exclaimer Cloud – Email Signatures for Office 365

by Nicki Dowsett in Exclaimer Cloud, General, IT Support, IT Systems

Exclaimer Cloud – Email Signatures for Office 365


MPR IT Solutions are pleased to announce that we are now authorised partners with Exclaimer Cloud – an email signature management service used in conjunction with Office 365. With a cost just £0.99 per person per month (plus initial set up and configuration costs) – Exclaimer is a simple straightforward service that means professional email signatures can be designed, managed and are automatically added to all emails sent from any device in one easy place.

Key Features & Benefits

  •  All Office 365 users get a full, dynamic and professional email signature when sending from every device, including smartphones, tablets and Macs.
  •  Email signatures designed and created using the cutting-edge Office 365 signature editor or choose from a variety of different template designs designed by the market leaders in dedicated email signature management solutions.
  • Individual personal contact details taken from your Office 365 Directory, guaranteeing that every user has the correct information in their email signature. Then, we can personalise each user’s signature with a photo image or anything else you decide is pertinent.
  • Easily add additional email signature elements like social media icons, promotional banners, legal disclaimers and more.
  • Ability to create internal, external or departmental signatures and allow your users to choose an Office 365 signature in Outlook as they compose a message. They’ll also see the signature on messages in their Sent Items folder!
  • Option to amend and add marketing campaigns to run over a time period you decide upon.
  • Email signatures are ‘stamped’ by Exclaimer’s regional Azure servers, passing email messages back to Office 365.
  • Built with the highest levels of security and control in place, this service has been awarded the ISO 27001:2013 Certification.

Options available:

  1. Once MPR IT have completed initial configuration and set up, we can offer a days training session so you can create your own your email signatures and control changes as you require.
  2. Through the Exclaimer Portal you can design your email signature with a standard template alternatively if you have a design in mind Exclaimer can create a new template for you.
  3. MPR IT manage your email layout design and create the email signature for you.  When you wish to make any changes or add promotional banners we can make these changes for you.

(all subject to additional costs)

Please contact MPR IT Solutions on 0800 030 20 30 option 2 or email us: sales@mpr-it.co.uk for full detailed information and pricings based on the number of employees and set up/configuration costs.

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March Team Member of the Month

by Nicki Dowsett in General, Helpdesk, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR IT Work, Team Member of the Month, Uncategorised

March Team Member of the Month

Each month the team at MPR IT are asked to put forward their nomination for Team Member of the Month and their reasoning behind the decision.

We are pleased to announce that this months winner is none other than Bill Van Doorn. Having been with us since 2015, Bill joined us to work and support the Tech team. 

Bill came out on top of a close battle between several employees, here are some of the comments from the team:

“Well organised.”

“Always available to help.”

“My go to guy whatever the problem.”

Originally from Holland, Bill moved to the UK to join the team at MPR IT. Starting his career in IT in Holland, when the industry changed in the early 2000’s he decided to leave IT.

Following his passion for cooking, he trained as a chef working his way up from Sous chef to Head chef in various restaurants with expertise in classic French and Italian cooking.  After 10 years in the profession he decided he was not enjoying it as much as he had been. So decided to get back into IT, so he packed up, left everything behind and moved to Ashford to start a new chapter in his life.

Bill is a very busy person outside of his work life and is also a music producer and has co-founded his production company.  He also is very interested in on-line gaming. And still loves to cook for friends and family – not forgetting the team in the office!

Since joining MPR IT he has taken on the role on the Tech helpdesk and is also responsible for our stock room due to his great organisational skills.  He continues to further his knowledge in IT studying in his spare time and is pleased to have made the move to work within the team .

Congratulations Bill – Well deserved winner.

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