Business Focused IT Support
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How important are your email signatures?

by Nicki Dowsett in Exclaimer Cloud, General, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Office 365, Software

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

Example 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 signatures with MPR IT Solutions

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.

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Adobe Flash Player Retired

by Nicki Dowsett in General, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Software

Launched in 1996, Adobe Flash Player is a browser plug-in designed to stream video and animation content through websites. At the time of launch it was the most popular way to stream content quickly. Many internet users had dial up or slow connection and content such as this would take too long to view. By 2009, Adobe Flash was installed on 99% of internet connects computers.

However, with the launch of handheld devices such as smart phones and tablets, Adobe was slow to react and it was not compatible. It was expected to drain the battery life as well as being a security risk. By the time that Adobe had created a flash player that would work on mobile devices the big internet names were streaming content without a flash player. In 2015, Apple disabled the plug-in on their own Safari browser, and Google Chrome started to block some Flash Content. Adobe then announced in 2017, that Flash Player would be retired in 2020.

Adobe announced that the Flash Player will no longer be supported and as of 31 December 2020 no further security updates released. It should therefore be uninstalled from all laptops and PC’s. Through our managed IT Support packages, MPR IT Solutions will be removing Adobe Flash player from our customer packages. If you have any concerns regarding this please contact us on 0800 030 20 30.

From 12 January 2021, Adobe will stop Flash Player displaying content, rendering it retired. Games and content relying on Adobe Flash Player will no longer be accessible.

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What does IT Support look like to you?

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
Business IT Support Kent

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 sales@mpr-it.co.uk

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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 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 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 homework 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 as being able to reschedule 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 Team’s 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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Happy 11th Birthday to MPR IT Solutions

by Nicki Dowsett in Audio Systems, CCTV, Engineers, fibre optics, Fire Alarms, Hardware, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, MPR, Office Move, point to point wirless, Server cabinet, Software, SQL Server, Structured Cabling, TV Distribution, Web Hosting, Websites, Wireless networks

Early in 2008, three friends – Alex, Richard and Andy became disenchanted by the way IT Support was provided to businesses in Kent and the South East. They felt that customer service and relationships were not a priority and it would result in many businesses bouncing around support companies on a regular basis.

After many discussions the three friends took the decision to start a new IT Support business offering a more pro-active relationship with customers, with the aim “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.”

In the late spring of 2008, MPR IT Solutions was born in a small garden office with Alex, Andy and Richard utilising their individual skills to provide daily support and installation of network infrastructure. 

With a strong belief that building relationships with customers, understanding the requirements of the business and employees it would give a clearer idea as to how technology can support and help customers to grow their own business.  By offering impartial advice in simple terms and by not being tied to any one supplier means that MPR IT Solutions can ensure that the hardware and software required is the best to meet the individual needs.

11 Years on from the start

Over the last 11 years the business has grown substantially with an annual turnover of £1.4million, employing 24 people and supporting over 250 businesses across the South East.  With a customer base comprising of a wide variety of customers from small home run businesses to large multi-office business throughout the UK and everything and anything in between.   

The team handle over a thousand support tickets each month with 97% closed within an hour.  To ensure that the level of service doesn’t reduce in any way we regularly ask for feedback and are immensely proud that we score 5/5 in 99% of our surveys. A large proportion of customers have been with MPR IT for many years and are happy to recommend our services to other business, it is clear, that the vision initially formed has proved to be a success.

Moving to Henwood Industrial Estate

The new office on Henwood Industrial Estate

Since the time spent in the garden office, MPR IT have moved several times to keep up with the on-going growth of the business and need to expand. 

It was agreed at the end of 2018 that MPR IT would need to consider another move, and so we have recently relocated to the Henwood Estate.  Using our own team of Engineers, we could guarantee the task of fitting out our new home would meet all the requirements we need today and pre-empting any future expansions.  The project to refit the office took about 3 months and involved using our own knowledge, experience and skills.  Once the initial building work was completed the team set about refitting the office from scratch using the skills and services that we offer to our own customers.

With so many changes in technology since MPR IT Solutions was first conceived, it was clear from the onset that our skills and offerings would need to become more and more diverse.  No longer just offering daily IT Support, MPR IT now offers a wide range of services and products, including installation of Structured Cabling Networks, Server Infrastructure, Wireless networks, Point to Point Wireless, Fire Alarm, CCTV and Door Entry/Security systems along with Audio Visual installations.

Training & Encouraging the Team

Since the start of MPR IT Solutions we have employed 7 apprentices supporting local people to learn and qualify within the IT Industry.  We strongly believe that young people should be given the opportunity to learn new skills and the chance to have a career and always open to take on more in the future.  Many of our apprentices have gone on to stay with us and once qualified have become valued field engineers within MPR IT Solutions.   Support is provided for any team member that would like to further their knowledge or qualifications.

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Brand New Service: Tech-as-a-Service

by Nicki Dowsett in General, Hardware, IT Systems, Microsoft, Ransomware, Software, Surface, Tech-as-a-service, TV Distribution, Uncategorised

Tech-as-a-Service

MPR IT Solutions provides premier versatile IT solutions and support for businesses in London & the South East. With 10 years in a highly competitive industry, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Listening to our clients is key to providing the high quality of support that our clients find invaluable and unmatched.

Feedback from our clients informs us that with the fast-moving pace of technology, ensuring an office has the latest and most efficient hardware, can be both time consuming and costly. After listening to the feedback we have researched the industry to find a superior solution for this predicament. We are now pleased to announce that we are able to offer a new service, called Tech-as-a-Service, through our trusted partner TechData.

Tech-as-a-Service allows you to combine your hardware, software, and services into a single solution. Giving you access to the latest technology, optimising your IT budget, and simplifying your invoicing with simple monthly payments.

The key benefits of using Tech-as-a-Service include:

  • Predictable, lower costs
  • Access to the latest technology and employee experience
  • Unburdened IT and day-to-day management
  • Flexibility to add or remove technology hardware according to demand

Hardware Example:

The one-off total cost for the hardware and labour would be £13,104.00. By using Tech-as-a-Service you can spread the cost over 36 months, including interest you would make monthly payments of £401.00.

Look at how this breakdown can optimise budgets with an affordable and straightforward subscription:

  • £401.00 per Month
  • £92.53 per Week
  • £13.21 per Day
  • £0.62 per Seat per Day

Software Options

In addition to hardware we can also offer software services for your business. Our team of experts regularly review the market leaders in all solutions that we offer and work hard to ensure that we are providing the best services to our clients. Recommended software packages include:

Tech-as-a-Service can offer subscriptions to these packages over 36 months as opposed to making it more cost effective and affordable, meaning your business can benefit to the best products on the market.

To find out more on how Tech-as-a-Service can benefit your company, please contact our Sales Team on 0800 030 20 30 option 2 or email sales@mpr-it.co.uk

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