Business Focused IT Support
Viewing posts categorised under: MPR IT Work

Living on Microsoft Teams

by Nicki Dowsett in Disaster Planning, General, Helpdesk, IT Support, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, MPR IT Work, networking, Office 365, Remote working, Software, Training, Uncategorised

Microsoft Teams was originally launched in March 2017 as a planned replacement to Skype for business. By March 2020, Microsoft Teams was used daily by 44 million people. One month later, much of the world was in lockdown and the number of daily users dramatically increased to over 75 million users.

The chances are that, as your team has been working across multiple locations, you have been using Microsoft Teams in your business. We don’t need to tell you that it is predominantly used for instant chat messaging, voice and video calls between employees and customers or suppliers.

MPR and Microsoft Teams

Since March 2020, with staff working remotely initially, and now with a limited staff level physically in the office and others still remote, Teams has been a vital tool in keeping everyone connected.

Daily morning and end of day meetings take place to check everyone is well and also to discuss the activity taking place. Whilst some members were furloughed an end of week meeting was put in place to have a general catch up and keep in touch with everyone. In addition to regular group chat to ask questions and the occasional ‘Dad’ joke from team members.

As someone that has worked remotely for the last 6 years with MPR IT, I can honestly say that with the regular meetings and chat I feel more connected to the company and my colleagues in other departments. Previously, I would drop an email or quick call to someone when I needed something now I see them all daily instead of 3 or 4 times a year when I would normally visit the office.

Click here for a Quick Start Guide to Microsoft Teams or to see the full range of training videos and resources see the Microsoft Teams website. In the meantime here are a few features we have found to be really helpful.

Video Calling Backgrounds

When making a video call to your clients or colleagues you may not want your background to be on display and be looking for a more professional image. Microsoft Teams offer a couple of options to overcome this problem

Blurred background – to avoid people in your video call seeing your home work space, or other people walking around the office you can blur out the background so that only you are on screen.

Virtual Background – a step up from the blurred background is to set up a virtual screen. If you are meeting with clients on video call or in a networking event, choosing a virtual background with your company logo can be more professional than you home or office background.

This can be activated in just a few simple steps: 

  • Generally, you should find the option under your audio and video settings as you start or join a meeting 
  • Click on settings 
  • Check under options 
  • Look for an option to blur your background or choose an image and click on it  

Group videos and Conferencing

Teams Live Events – Microsoft Teams can host meetings from 1-10,000 participants depending on your subscription and you IT Infrastructure. With many networking events, conferences or seminars moving to virtual events you can still easily reach your audience. Within a meeting you can also create individual rooms for different speakers allowing people to more around within the event.

Live Captions – Adding live captions to your meeting can be beneficial for people with different levels of language understanding or for anyone with hearing difficulties. Simply click on the 3 dots in the middle of your screen and speak slowly and clearly into you microphone and the words will appear as subtitles on the screen.

Sharing screens and content -ability to share content or powerpoint presentations with your audience. This is a feature that has been available on many video conferencing services for many years. Simply click on the share tray and choose the application you wish to share.

Recording and transcribing video meeting – Capture audio, video, and screen-sharing activity by recording your Teams meetings. Automatic transcription allows you to play back meetings and search for important discussion items in the transcript.

Follow up – After your event or meeting you can easily share your recording, files and content and chat with attendees as well we rescheduling the next meeting. When all linked together it easy to review previous notes and recording all in one place.

Collaborative Tool

Microsoft Teams is much more than a communication tool, it has many additional features making it an all round collaborative tool. With many additional apps that can be incorporated to share and edit content, plan projects, connecting with your CRM, social media channels, email platforms and live chat on your website. Additional apps are easily accessed through the main teams page.

If you would like to discuss Office 365, SharePoint or Microsoft Teams for your business in more detail please contact us on 0800 030 20 30

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Outstanding Effort by MPR IT

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

Congratulations and a huge thanks to all the team at MPR IT.

With the uncertainty over the last couple of weeks surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak – Alex, Andy and Richard would like to acknowledge the outstanding effort put in by all the team here at MPR IT.

Since it first became apparent that companies should consider alternative plans for working from home – every member of the MPR IT team has put in an outstanding performance, going above and beyond to ensure we can continue to support our customers.

Sales Team

The main priority for the Sales team has been to source hardware – which very quickly became almost as difficult to get hold of as toilet rolls and hand sanitiser. The advantage of MPR IT not being tied to one particular supplier has been an enormous help, and we have been able to source pretty much all the laptops that were in stock. Additionally, Nicki from Marketing has been supporting the Helpdesk Team with taking calls and logging tickets to allow the team to work as efficiently as possible.

Engineers

Just a few of the laptops

Engineers

The Engineers have been rushed off their feet with the setting up and installation of over 500 laptops in a week. Everyone and anyone in the MPR IT family that could work on this task was pulled in – including the team from MPR Technical Services.

Helpdesk

Number of tickets raise and percentage closed within 24 hours

This week32859%
Last week36359%
2 weeks ago28161%
3 weeks ago29661%

During the last two weeks the team has seen an increase in the number of tickets raised. A number of these tickets have been to set up remote access for an entire company which can range from 1 to 20 users. Normally a ticket would be raised for an individual issue and not multiple users. Despite this increase the team have continued to average a 60% close rate within 24 hours. An incredible effort with such a large increase in workload.

Dealing not only with the normal everyday queries, but also supporting our clients that require individuals to be set up for remote working via VPN, access to emails and small glitches as it all comes into effect. In total we have sourced, set up and installed over 500 laptops, and enabled over 1000 users to be able to work from home.

Finally not forgetting setting up our own team to work from home to continue to be able support our customers during this time. The helpdesk team are now all working hard from home to provide continued support to our customers and continue to be contacted on 0800 030 20 30 option 2 with full access to all our systems and phones.

Our Customers

Finally we must say a huge thank you – to you our customers for being patient and understanding during this incredibly busy time. We have had an incredible increase in demand for support. We value each and every one of you and we will continue to support you above and beyond.

Comments such as these mean so much to the team when they are frazzled and weary – please keep them coming in:

We were really impressed by the speed at which Mitch responded to our call and were SO grateful that he got everything working again!

Ian was very efficient and explained what he was doing and the cause of the issue.

Thank you for sorting this so quickly! much appreciated

If you do require support over the coming weeks – please contact us in the normal ways 0800 030 20 30 option 1 for Sales and option 2 for Support. Please also follow us on social media for updates and news articles – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn.

Keep safe and we look forward to supporting during this time.

Alex, Andy and Richard

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Out of Office Housekeeping

by Nicki Dowsett in Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR, MPR IT Work, networking, Server cabinet

Looking After Your IT During Lockown

Many offices are much emptier than usual with people working from home and it probably feels very surreal. It’s much the same here at MPR IT, many of the team are working hard from home to provide continued support to our customers.

For remote working sessions to continue to the best of network capability we are recommending a few ‘Out of Office House Keeping’ tasks. These should be carried out when anyone visits the office to collect post or a random forgotten folder and will help to keep your IT (and business) running.

Server Room Temperature

The temperature in your server rooms is kept low to ensure that machines do not overheat and stop working. Whilst we have monitoring systems to check that servers are running well, we unfortunately cannot monitor the temperature. If your air-conditioning fails the fans will kick in but will ultimately blow hot air around causing the machines to overheat. Whenever anyone visits the office please ask them to check the air-conditioning is still working and that the temperature is at the recommended level.

Warning Lights or Alarms

Please inspect the servers to check for any warning or unexpected lights. If you do notice anything unusual please take a photo of the issue and email it to support@mpr-it.co.uk and we will check this for you. With the recommendation to stay at home, to keep everyone safe we would like to avoid site visits if possible, photos or videos of the issue will help our team to diagnose the problem.

Back Up Systems

Checking that your back up storage is doing its job could be one of the most important things. Should there be a failure to the servers your back up will be invaluable in restoring your data and keeping your business running.

For customers with monitoring as part of their contract we will be continuing to monitor as normal, however these housekeeping tasks should additionally take place where possible.

If you currently do not have monitoring as part of your contract with MPR IT and would like to consider this please contact our Sales team on 0800 030 20 30 option 2.

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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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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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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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New Office – Server Room

by Nicki Dowsett in Audio Systems, cabinets, Design Inspiration, Engineers, fibre optics, General, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR IT Work, Office Move, Server cabinet, Strcutured cabling, TV Distribution, Wireless networks

New Office – Server Room

As you will probably be aware MPR IT are preparing to move to our new home.  Our new offices will be based at the Henwood Estate in Ashford, and will accommodate our expanding team. We are currently in the process of recruiting for our Technical Help desk and with the extra room we will have there should be no issue for desk space.

The project to refit the new office seems to be running very quickly and we can start to see how the office will be once it is completed.  Our team have worked hard to install structured cabling throughout the entire space for work spaces and AV.  However the cables need to have an endpoint and so this week we are working on the server room.

As you can see before we could consider any installation, we first needed to make the room a clean space.  With walls decorated and new flooring installed our team had the perfect space to work with.  The new space is light and cool – the correct environment for server cabinets.

With the comms cabinet in place the team have been busy connecting the cables in an orderly fashion.  Not only does this mean everything is neat and tidy, it also means that we can identify each individual cable.  Work continues on the server room and we plan to have everything completed in there shortly.

With the end in sight for the project, it is now starting to look like home for MPR IT.  Here is one part of the office space with some furniture starting to go in along with the new carpet. Looks so bright and fresh, we can’t wait to move in.

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Exciting Start to the New Year for MPR IT

by Nicki Dowsett in Access Panels, Audio Systems, broadband, cabinets, CCTV, Engineers, fibre optics, Fire Alarms, General, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR IT Work, Office Move, Server cabinet, Strcutured cabling, TV Distribution, Uncategorised, Wireless networks

Exciting start to the New Year for MPR IT

Since the start of January, a lot has been happening here at MPR IT.  As you will be aware it is now 10 years year since Alex, Andy and Richard started MPR IT.  We are continuing to grow and strive with thanks to the continued custom from all our loyal clients.  To ensure that we can continue to provide customer focused support, providing outstanding IT support and solutions, the Management team have been making lots of decisions.

Firstly, we are recruiting a number of roles for our Technical support team. Currently we are recruiting for:
1st Line Support Admin
2nd Line Support Engineer
3rd Line Support Engineer

We hope to have all these roles filled in the very near future, with some new team members already on board. As with any new member of the team, we will be ensuring they are inducted to the high standards both our customers and ourselves expect.

Next, it has become apparent that with our continued expansion we have out grown our current offices! Our second piece of exciting news is that we have now secured new premises in the Henwood Estate. With a large amount of work to carry out we hope to be able to move in time for late spring/early summer.
We are currently in the first phase which includes taking down walls and making the space more suitable for our ever-growing team.

Once the construction/demolition phase has completed, we will be entering the next phase.  This is where our own expertise will be utilised and our own team will be installing following:
Structured Cabling – Copper and Fibre
CCTV
Access Control
TV distribution systems
Audio Systems
Fire Alarm System
Internet Services and so much more!

As you can imagine its going to be a busy and exciting few months for us all.  We will keep you all updated on the progress and of course our move date.

 

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