What is Windows 11?
Microsoft regularly updates their operating system and Windows 11 is their latest offering. Windows 10 was released in July 2015, and before that, we saw Windows 8 and 7, etc. As technology and requirements evolve as does the need for the operating system for your PCs and laptops. Windows 11 is the first version released whereby a new license is not required, it is a free update to your existing version. A bit like Apple and Android phones regularly sending updates to your devices that improve the functionality and security of the operating system.
Is Windows 10 redundant and should I update straightaway?
The simple answer is NO. Windows 10 will continue to be supported by Microsoft until 2025. Allowing a 4-year crossover between Windows 10 and Windows 11. This means that support and security updates will be rolled out to users as normal for this period. Windows 10 is not redundant and can continue to be used without any disruption until such time your organisation decides the time is right to update. As the saying goes if it’s not broken – don’t fix it!
Audit of Existing software and hardware?
Within your business, you are likely to use several third-party software packages, such as accounting packages, CRM’s, auditing, procurement, and monitoring programs. It is important to understand how each of these interacts with the operating system, Windows 11. Just because Microsoft has released Windows 11 and carried out internal extensive testing, it does not mean that these third-party offerings have had the opportunity to ensure they will continue to work as expected. Code and commands in the programming may need to be amended and changed to suit the requirements of Windows 11, which is likely to be rolled out by third parties in time. Without a full understanding of the packages used and what is required in terms of processing, it could potentially cause a huge issue and remove access to your data.
Similarly, hardware is not automatically going to be compatible, whilst new machines are likely to have the processing power and memory to run Windows 11, it is highly recommended that each individual machine including printers, scanners, and copiers are audited to ensure they will continue to work as expected. As Windows 10 is supported for a further 4-years, we can identify which machines will operate as normal and which ones may need to be updated over this period. For example, if you have a laptop that is 3 years old but not compatible, it makes sense to wait until the end of its life before purchasing a new one, rather than simply upgrading the laptop now, when Windows 10 will still work.
What can happen if updated without support from MPR IT
Updating to Windows 11, without a full audit of your software and hardware, could potentially become costly. Not only because you will find that some devices and software packages will not work immediately, but also because you may not be able to operate as normal and your employees may struggle to complete tasks. This can affect your business in the long term, with orders not being processed in time and customers looking elsewhere, whilst the issue is fixed.
With a varying speed on the update to Windows 11, planning the rollout across your business is important to minimalise downtime during the update. This will avoid all devices being updated at once and having no employees able to carry out any business tasks.
Planned update with support from MPR IT
Our team has the experience and knowledge to understand the requirements of devices and software packages, to identify what can and more importantly, cannot be updated to Windows 11. Liaising with you, we can strategically plan the project to ensure minimum downtime for each device, user, department, and company as a whole. The project can be planned to allow for any future upgrades of devices over the next 4 years, to ensure minimum outlay is required. Historically, with the update to Windows 10, we had the experience of businesses updating to the new operating system without expert assistance, causing work to stop as devices and some software programs were incompatible. This meant that in addition to new devices needing to be purchased and installed, the day-to-day business could not continue. Not to mention the cost of calling in expert advice without an agreed SLA.
MPR Testing Windows 11
MPR IT Solutions are currently carrying out internal testing of the new operating system and its compatibility with our own third-party software packages, such as antivirus, monitoring, CRM, and Accounts application. This will ensure that when we make the right decision to upgrade all our own devices, we can continue to support our clients.
As part of this testing, we have identified that in terms of general use Windows 11 does have some different functionalities compared to Windows 10, which once used for a little while, the end-user can adjust quite easily. Right-hand click menus on your mouse have changed and you are now shown icons as opposed to words for actions, such as copy and paste. Overall the general feel for the operating system is very simple to use.
We have also identified that the incorporated Microsoft Teams will only link to a personal account and not a business or educational account. This is likely to cause initial confusion, as you will not be able to log in to your work Teams account, without some minor alterations made by one of our engineers in the setup.
Moving forward, it is expected that as with any operating system, Windows 11 will be regularly updated for security patches and functionality. This is not unusual and will have minimum effect on the day-to-day running.
Contact us for further information
To discuss arranging an audit of your network for compatibility to Windows 11, and an agreed project plan to update your systems please contact our Sales & Account Management Team on 0800 030 20 30 or via email email@example.comRead more
by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, Audit Reviews, Back up solutions, cybercrime, Data Loss Prevention, Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Microsoft 365, MPR IT Work, Office 2007, Office 365, Outlook 2007, Password Security, Ransomware, Remote working, Risk management, SaaS Protection, Security Policies, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012
At the end of every working day, you ensure your workplace is secure with windows and doors closed, an alarm set and CCTV in place. So why don’t businesses consider that protecting their IT network is just as important? Many businesses are of the opinion that it wont happen to them – when actually the statistics show it probably will.
- Globally 30,000 websites are hacked daily
- 64% of companies have experienced some form of cyber attack
- 75 records are lost every second of the day
- 94% of malware is spread through email
- 24,000 apps are detected on the internet daily
- 300,000 pieces of new malware are created daily
- 70% businesses that experience large data loss will go out of business within 1 year.
According to Government statistics on cyber security breaches, approximately 54% of businesses are now seeking information and guidance on cyber security. That leaves 46% that are not taking this seriously.
Business Continuity Plans often only investigate if the building is inaccessible and as we have all experienced in the last 12 months this can be solved. BUT if your network is compromised, your staff cannot even do that. You will most likely be locked out of the entire network and in turn, need to consider these points:
- No access to data
- All records potentially lost
- All data potentially sold on the dark net
- Held to ransom running into hundreds of thousands of pounds
- Potential law suits
- Large fines for breach of compliance
- Staff unable to work
- Loss of revenue
- Extremely unhappy customers
Do businesses survive data loss?
Vulnerabilities in your network such as out dated hardware and operating systems put your business at risk and recent reports show that it could cost your business upwards of £1miilion in ransom, fines, legal fees, loss of revenue and IT Support to get your business back up and running if your suffer a data loss or network attack. It is expected that 70% of businesses that experience a large data loss will go out of business within a year. If your network is vulnerable so is your business.
With the increase in threat from ransomware, phishing, DDOS and scams, the market for products in cyber security is wide and ranging. MPR IT Solutions invest time in researching the market and carrying out in-depth training to find the best products available, so you don’t have to.
Contact our team today to discuss your Network security and how we can support your business to reduce the risk – 0800 030 20 30.Read more
Microsoft announced in March 2015, it’s plans to drop to Internet Explorer. The next major update would be re-branded and re-named as Microsoft Edge.
In the 1990’s Internet Explorer was the essential tool for accessing the internet, but later faced a battle with Firefox and Google, which is now probably the most widely used option.
Internet Explorer 10 along with previous versions have not been supported since 2016, with no new further updates. Whilst Internet Explorer 11 continues with security, compatibility and technical support for Windows, 7,8 and 10. See here for information on the end of life for Windows 7 in October 2020. https://www.mpr-it.co.uk/microsoft-support-ending/
Microsoft is now actively encouraging users to upgrade to Edge, ahead of support ending 17 August 2021.
Most importantly the Microsoft Teams web app WILL NOT be supported on Internet Explorer from November 2020. With over 75 million people currently using Microsoft Teams – now is the time to upgrade your browser.
All remaining Office 365 apps will continue to be supported by Internet Explorer until the service ends in the Summer of 2021.
Failure to update to Microsoft Edge ahead of these timescales may result in non-connectivity, along with increased security threats and no on-going support from Microsoft.
Microsoft Edge is very easy to update, depending on your organisation’s administration settings. Most users will simply be able to download the file and install. However, if you experience any issues MPR IT Support Helpdesk are available to assist our customers. Email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your requirements and a ticket will be automatically logged for you.
Benefits of Microsoft Edge include:
- Faster Browsing
- Extended Battery Life
- Additional Security Protection
- More control over your personal data
See the Microsoft service page here for full details: https://microsoftedgewelcome.microsoft.com/en-gb/
To contact MPR IT Solutions for support on this please email: email@example.com or call 0800 030 20 30.Read more
Have you considered how many emails you might send in one day, one week or even one year? It is estimated that each individual might send upwards of 40 emails per day. That’s approximately 200 emails in a working week or 9,600 in a year allowing for annual leave.
Now consider how many employees you have and that number of emails sent has grown considerably. Emails have clearly replaced personalised letters as a form of communication with employees, customers and suppliers. Many years ago, the post would be delivered each morning and distributed around the business, to be dealt with. Now emails are sent continuously and so our working patterns have changed.
None of this is new information. If you can remember back to these times, consider the layout and presentation of the letters you might have received. High quality headed paper, with a clear indication of any certification or affiliations that might apply to a business or individual. Your letter head would set out the tone and image of the company and giving the recipient a clear impression of your business.
Now, looking again at the number of emails you might send in a year. Does your email give the same impression of your business that a headed letter paper may have once given? Does every single person in your business use an agreed font style and size along with a standard email signature? Is the email signature easily managed centrally or is it down to individuals to manually update the signature when asked?
Seven C’s of Email Signatures
With Exclaimer email signatures, you can easily utilise your emails as a marketing tool, at the same time of promoting your company brand. With a centralised set up the one email signature is rolled out to all your users with ease.
Comply with legislation. Firstly and probably the most important element of your email signature. Depending on your geographic region there are items of information that must by law be included on your business email. For example in the UK your Legal Disclaimer must include:
- VAT Number
- Company Registration number and address
The information in your disclaimer is not legally binding, however in a court case regarding the sale of a piece of land, a judge ruled that the disclaimer at the end of the relevant emails were legally binding. If your emails do not contain a disclaimer you can be fined. Initially a smaller warning fine with the value increasing until resolved. The legal disclaimer does not need to lengthy but must cover the requirements of your geographical area.
Consistency to your brand guidelines. Many businesses spend a lot of time and money to design your brand. This might include business cards, workwear, vehicle signage, literature and websites – so it may come as a surprise that not all business then continue this branding in email signatures.
Contact details. The simplest and easiest way to share all your contact details is in your email signature. It is a digital business card. People are more likely to look at your last email for your contact details than hunt through your company website.
Certify/Creditability, your signature is the perfect way to highlight your individual and business partnerships, certifications, awards etc. Providing evidence of your creditability without actually mentioning it. You wouldn’t bring it up at the end of a phone call but you can share it in your email signature.
Connect through social media links. Links to your business social media pages can easily be included in your email signature. By having the hyperlink in your email, people are more likely to connect on social platforms than if you asked them personally.
Communication your email signature is the most cost effective marketing tool. It is effectively free or very low cost. With almost 10,000 emails sent each year, you can easily and simply communicate to your recipients. Showcasing new products, events or offers, via your email signature.
Collect feedback on your services. Adding a simple survey question on the bottom of your email signature, e.g “How did we do today?” allows you to collect a snapshot of the service you offer. If you wanted you could include a link to a more lengthy survey BUT you are less likely to get a response.
Images in emails
Many email clients remove images from emails, you will notice a box with a red x in the corner when an image has been removed. Image blocking occurs for many reasons, security being the main reason, but also because the image can increase the size of the email. Or it can be identified as spam.
Due to image blocking it is vital that your email signature including legal disclaimer is not an image as this may get blocked and this can result in your company not complying with the legal requirements.
Managing email signature’s
Often the onus is on your employees to update their individual email signature account or relying on a specific member of staff to go to each work station and make the update. Both options can be time consuming and unreliable. Some may decide to make small changes to the layout, some may simply not do it or some may be on holiday and miss the request for the update.
Emails on the go
In todays age of technology many of us access our work emails via mobiles and tablets as well as on a work station. However, it is important to note that you are still legally required to include the disclaimer. When you receive an email that ends – sent by iphone – all it is telling you is that someone sent you a message from their phone as opposed to their workstation.
Centrally Managed Email Signature
By having a centrally managed standardised email signature you are able to follow the above mentioned 7 C’s of email signatures simply and one person can quickly update the entire workforces email signature within minutes, without any disruption to the rest of your employees. In addition this can be rolled out to include mobile devices as it is attached to mail account as opposed to the workstation or mobile device.
Exclaimer Email Signature
MPR IT Solutions is proud to partner with Exclaimer Email Solutions. Based in the UK, Exclaimer provide multi-award-winning on-premise and cloud-based email signature solutions to over 75 million users worldwide.
Exclaimer’s range of email signature management solutions make designing and controlling your organization’s email signatures easy and ensure that you are fully compliant and following the 7 C’s.
Your email signature is more than just a sign off at the end of the message. For more information on how MPR IT Solutions can support your business in using Exclaimer email solutions please contact us on 0800 030 20 30 option 2.Read more
by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, Audio Systems, broadband, CCTV, cybercrime, Disaster Planning, DNS Web Hosting, Domain Registration, Engineers, Exclaimer Cloud, fibre optics, Fire Alarms, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, MPR, MPR IT Work, New customer, Office 365, Office Move, Password Security, Point to Point Wireless, Ransomware, Remote working, Server cabinet, Software, SQL Server, SSL Certificates, Structured Cabling, Training, TV Distribution, Web Hosting, Websites, Windows 10, Wireless networks
“What does IT Support look like to you?”
Often the simple answer is a helpdesk offering daily support to end users in a fast and reliable manner.
When considering your business as a whole, IT Support is usually much more complex. Have you considered these areas?
- Who looks after your phone system?
- Who provides your internet connection and leased lines?
- Where is your website domain registered and hosted?
- Do you have malware and anti-virus software?
- Is your office using a Wi-Fi network? Who maintains this?
- Where do you purchase new hardware? Is it under warranty and how do you manage an upgrade programme?
- Are your servers on site or are they cloud based? How are these monitored and supported?
If I was to ask the question again “What does IT Support look like to you?” Would the answer be the same? The chances are that answer has changed.
By choosing MPR IT Solutions, you can be assured that your business will benefit from all-round comprehensive support in all information technology aspects. With a dedicated Account Manager, simple straightforward invoicing and only one point of contact for any technical issues, MPR IT Solutions provides fast, effective and reliable IT Support to businesses throughout London and the South East. Working in partnership with our clients we believe enhances our understanding of their business needs and we always look to find the best and most effective solution. Our core products and services include (but not limited to);
- Comprehensive IT Systems Support
- Hosted/ Voip Telephones
- Website domain registration and hosting
- Internet connections and Leased Lines
- Wi Fi Networks
- Azure Server Support
- Office 365 & Microsoft Teams
- AEM Monitoring
- Malware/Anti-virus software
- Hardware purchasing and upgrade plans
- Security Awareness Training (SATT)
- Email Signature Management
Through the growth and continued development of MPR IT Solutions and increasing demands from clients, our sister company MPR Technical Services was born in 2019. A Technical Services Integrator, their highly experienced and qualified employees provide advice, design and installation services in residential and commercial developments.
MPR Technical Services and MPR IT Solutions will work together for larger projects, as necessary. With a collaborative relationship you can be assured of strong communication and enhanced understanding of the work carried out and on-going support required.
Extended Services through MPR Technical Services:
- Structured Cabling
- Wireless Networks
- Audio Visual and Digital IPTV Systems
- Electronic Security
- Office re-locations
For more information on the products and services from MPR IT Solutions contact our team today on 0800 030 20 30 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgRead more
Britain and many parts of the world are currently in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The British Government recently announced that where possible people should now be working from home. Following this we have seen a dramatic increase in requests to set up remote access.
Office 365 package makes working from home so much easier. With Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, Teams and Word all available through one simple log. Meaning you can connect to your workspace from anywhere that has an internet connection. As someone that has been part of the MPR IT team for the last 6 years and based in Berkshire, I can confirm that being able to connect with the main MPR IT team via Office 365 is seamless.
To support our local small business community we would like to offer FREE migration to Office 365 during the current lockdown due to Covid 19.
For more information on how Office 365 can package can support you and your business please call our team on 0800 030 20 30 Option 1Read more
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.
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.Read more
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 email@example.comRead more